GWR’s new EMUs
New electric multiple units for Great Western Railway are unveiled, ahead of their entry into traffic on September 5.
NEW electric multiple units for Great Western Railway were unveiled on August 12, ahead of their introduction into traffic on September 5.
Bombardier has built the first eight of 45 EMUs for GWR - Class 387/1s that will be used on Thames Valley routes. Initially they will be used between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington.
GWR spokesman James Davis told RAIL that further rollout of the trains depended upon Network Rail’s electrification programme. He said that “GWR expects to be using these trains across its electrified Thames Valley network by autumn 2017”.
The first eight trains to be delivered (387130-387137) were ordered when First was awarded the franchise in March 2015 ( RAIL 770). The 37 additional EMUs were ordered this year, replacing the planned cascade of 29 fourcar Class 387/1s from Govia Thameslink Railway. The additional order contains 23 new EMUs and 14 that had been ordered speculatively by Porterbrook.
Davis said that the full rollout of the remaining 37 trains “depends on Network Rail electrifying the Thames Valley”.
Also dependent upon NR is the use of ‘387s’ at 110mph. They have been built to operate at this speed, but Davis explained that it was too early to state when this would begin because timetables have yet to be agreed with the infrastructure company, and it depended upon the completion of the electrification work.
GWR has so far taken delivery of 387130-387133, and these are currently at Hitachi Rail Europe’s North Pole depot. Eventually the ‘387s’ will be maintained at GWR’s’ Reading Train Care depot.
The EMUs are fitted with thirdrail shoegear, despite being unlikely to operate on the third-rail system. Davis said this equipment was
fitted because “we are leasing trains being built to a specification for a dual-voltage unit, which is a master supply agreement that Porterbrook has”.
As part of GWR’s franchise agreement it was contracted to conduct a feasibility study for Independently Powered Electric Multiple Units (IPEMUs). GWR completed this and submitted it to the Department for Transport, but there are currently no further plans for IPEMUs to be introduced.
The introduction of the ‘387/1s’ on Thames Valley routes will enable GWR to cascade Class 165/166 Turbos to the Bristol area. This will in turn release ‘15x’ units to Devon and Cornwall, beginning an internal cascade that will result in more capacity in the far South West and the elimination of Pacers from the GWR franchise.
Great Western Railway 387136 stands inside Derby Litchurch Lane on August 12. This is the seventh of eight Class 387/1s that will be introduced onto Thames Valley trains to Hayes & Harlington from September 5.
The interior of 387134. The Class 387/1s are four-car electric multiple units fitted with 223 seats. When all 45 trains are in traffic, they will operate in four-, eightand 12-car formations from London Paddington.