GTR and Porterbrook unveil £55 million fleet modernisation

TRAINS built just five years ago are among those set to be upgraded at Selhurst Depot as part of a £55 million fleet modernisation programme announced by Govia Thameslink Railway and leasing company Porterbrook.

The newest of the 270 electric multiple units in the programme are more than 50 Bombardier ‘Electrostar’ Class 387s which were first delivered from Derby to start replacing the long-serving Class 319s on the Thameslink route. The candidates also include 214 older Electrostar Class 377s, which run on the Southern network.

The work, which will take five years, will include the installation of on-board performance monitoring and fault diagnosis, real-time passenger information screens and USB/power points,

GTR said it has responded to calls from passengers revealed in recent research led by Transport Focus and funded by Porterbrook. The trains will also be fitted with new energy-saving LED lighting, plus passenger-counting technology and forward-facing CCTV cameras.

GTR engineering director Steve Lammin said: ‘Taking on board our passengers’ feedback, this multi-faceted upgrade by our own team at Selhurst Depot will provide a better on-board experience and more reliability. I’m really pleased that GTR is working with Porterbrook and Bombardier to deliver this improvement programme.’

Porterbrook CEO Mary Grant added: ‘We are committed to helping GTR meet the needs of its travelling customers. This is why Porterbrook are investing £55 million in the Electrostar fleet to significantly enhance passenger facilities and improve reliability using digital analytics. These are excellent and popular trains and I am delighted that their upgrade will be undertaken by GTR’s own workforce at Selhurst Depot.’

The first train is expected to be upgraded later in the autumn, with one following each week after that.

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