ANOTHER 20 Electrostar trains have been ordered from Bombardier in Derby by Porterbrook Leasing.
The order appears to be speculative, but Porterbrook said: "A number of parties have already expressed an interest in leasing this new fleet." These are understood to include Transport for London as well as other present and prospective National Rail operators.
The value of the order for 80 Class 387 vehicles has not been published, but industry sources say it is probably in the region of £150 million.
Bombardier in Derby is already building 64 four-car 387s, the first of which arrived at the end of 2014 and have gone into service on the Thameslink route between Bedford and Brighton. The works at Litchurch Lane is also preparing to build 600 vehicles for Crossrail and a new fleet for London Overground.
Porterbrook said the latest order for more 387s would 'help satisfy the future demand for mid-distance electric trains', which represent around half the British passenger fleet.
Although no end user has yet been identified, at least some Class 387s are scheduled to be used on Great Western services in the Thames Valley when electrification has been completed. For the moment, their arrival on the Thameslink route is allowing Class 319s to be progressively withdrawn for refurbishment in preparation for further service in the north of England.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This deal is fantastic news, both for East Midlands’ booming rail industry, and for passengers, who will benefit from more British-built trains on the rail network in the future.
“Introducing more modern, high-quality trains is central to our commitment to give passengers better journeys and boost economic growth, with more than 3,700 extra carriages set to be introduced across the network by the end of 2019. It is great to see the industry leading the way.”