Rail (UK)

Trio of GTR Class 387/1s readied for move to Great Northern duties


Three Govia Thameslink Railway Class 387/1s have moved to Hornsey depot for crew training.

From October, GTR will use the 110mph dual-voltage electric multiple units on its Great Northern operations from King’s Cross. This replaces its original plan to use cascaded Class 377s, which will instead move to other areas of the GTR network, as well as to Southeaste­rn.

The units (387104/106/ 114) are three of 29 trains that will move from GTR’s Thameslink operations to its GN network. Their higher maximum speed is deemed more suitable for use on the East Coast Main Line, and they will replace Class 317s and Class 321s that are currently used on trains to Cambridge and Peterborou­gh.

GTR has not revealed its plans for the 12 Class 317s and 13 Class 321s, although a Department for Transport document suggested both fleets go off-lease from GTR later this year. That would mean 25 four-car EMUs available for cascade.

The initial plan for the 29 Class 387/1s was for them to move to Great Western Railway for its Thames Valley services that start in September (having originally been planned to start in May).

However, this plan has been cancelled as GWR has instead bought 23 brand new Class 387s for its electric services, as well as taking the option for 14 of the speculativ­e order of 20 Class 387s that Porterbroo­k placed with Bombardier last year.

The Class 387/1s are being replaced on the Thameslink route by Class 700s that are starting to be introduced onto the route from Brighton. The Class 387s had been ordered as an interim measure to enable Class 319s to be cascaded to nearly electrifie­d routes in the North West.

The Class 387/1s will operate on GN alongside Class 365s (which were also due to move to GWR, but that move has now also been cancelled) and Class 700s (which will be introduced onto the GN network from next year).

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