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New Class 387 Electrostar EMUs begin operation on GWR Thames Valley service

6 September 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

On Monday 05 September, two Class 387 Electrostar electric multiple units (EMUs) entered service on GWR’s services in the Thames Valley.

The first two of 45 Bombardier Class 387 EMUs, also known as Electrostar, began operation on GWR services between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington. The introduction is part of an initiative to provide greater capacity and faster, more frequent services for commuters in and out of the capital.

Commenting on the new fleet, Great Western Railway managing director, Mark Hopwood said: “The Thames Valley is one of the most popular rail corridors in the UK.

“We have promised the current fleet would be upgraded to provide much needed additional capacity and faster journey times, and I am delighted to say the first of these new electric trains will come into service in just a matter of days.”

New Class 387 Electrostar EMUs begin operation on Thames Valley services

In a multi-million pound agreement signed between GWR, Bombardier and leasing company Porterbrook in July 2016, 37 Class 387 four-carriage trains will join the eight trains already ordered by the operator replacing the current fleet of Turbo trains. This fleet will be used in other parts of the GWR network, providing additional capacity where needed.

Class 387 Electrostar EMUs will provide 1,400 additional seats

The Class 387 fleet will provide an additional 1,400 seats at peak times and will offer at-seat power sockets, air conditioning, extra luggage space and free WiFi for customers.

The trains can be run in four, eight and 12 carriage formations, with the latter providing 97 more seats per train than the longest Turbo today.

Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “We are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era to modernise the network and deliver better journeys.

“The introduction of Great Western Railway’s first new Class 387 trains built by Bombardier in Derby is a great example of our investment. It will offer more seats, greater comfort and better reliability for passengers.”

The new trains will initially operate eight services a day between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington, in eight-car formations.

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