GWR needs 18 Elec­trostars to op­er­ate newly elec­tri­fied Maiden­head trains

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News -

Ahead of the ex­ten­sion of its elec­tri­fied ser­vices to Maiden­head, Great Western Rail­way has con­firmed to RAIL that it needs 18 Elec­trostars to be able to op­er­ate the route.

To date, Bom­bardier has de­liv­ered 19, although by the end of April, not all had been ac­cepted by GWR.

From May 21, the ‘387/1s’ will run from Lon­don Padding­ton to Maiden­head. Cur­rently the elec­tric mul­ti­ple units run only as far as Hayes & Har­ling­ton, but the over­head line elec­tri­fi­ca­tion has been en­er­gised fur­ther west, al­low­ing the trains to ex­pand their oper­a­tions.

As things stand, GWR uses two pairs of four-car Class 387/1s to op­er­ate a half-hourly ser­vice through­out the day. This be­gan in Jan­uary af­ter the ‘387s’ were in­tro­duced into traf­fic last Septem­ber to cover peak-time trains be­tween Lon­don and Hayes & Har­ling­ton ( RAIL 809).

By April 20, GWR had 387130142/144 avail­able for traf­fic, with 387143/146 de­liv­ered to Read­ing for ac­cep­tance and 387147387149 un­der­go­ing test­ing and com­mis­sion­ing.

The op­er­a­tor said that it needs 18 EMUs in or­der to cover those be­ing used for driver train­ing and standby du­ties, as well as any that are un­der­go­ing main­te­nance. There will be five pairs of Class 387s in pas­sen­ger use each day.

In­tro­duc­ing Class 387s on the Thames Val­ley route will al­low GWR to cas­cade its Thames Turbo fleet west­wards, with Class 165/166s mov­ing to the Bris­tol area.

GWR Class 387s are fit­ted with en­tirely Stan­dard Class in­te­ri­ors, although there is a par­ti­tion if re­quired. A 12-car Elec­trostar has 97 more seats per train than to­day’s long­est Turbo.

All told, GWR has 45 Class 387/1s on or­der. The first batch of eight (387130-387137) were or­dered when First Group re­tained the fran­chise in March 2015 ( RAIL 770). It sub­se­quently in­creased its fleet last year by agree­ing to lease 14 Elec­trostars that had been spec­u­la­tively or­dered by Porter­brook (387138-387151), with a fur­ther 23 Class 387/1s (387152-387175) or­dered in May 2016 ( RAIL 803).

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