Rail passengers in London and Thames Valley will start to benefit from a brand new fleet of trains as early as September , as part of Great Western Railwayâ€™s commitment to delivering more capacity and faster, more frequent services for customers.
GWR has finalised a multi-million pound deal with train manufacturer Bombardier and leasing company Porterbrook for 37 Class 387 four-carriage trains, joining eight already ordered by GWR, and will replace most of its current fleet of Turbo trains.
The trains will deliver consistent, high quality travel for customers across the Thames Valley, offering at-seat power sockets, air conditioning, extra luggage space and free wi-fi for customers. They can be run in four-, eight- and 12-carriage formations, with the latter providing 97 more seats per train than the longest Turbo today.
The move is part of the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation on the Great Western network, helping to drive improved journey times, increased capacity and greater comfort. The first of the Class 387 â€“ or GWR Electrostar â€“ trains will be introduced on the new Hayes & Harlington â€“ London Paddington service on September 5, and provide an additional 1,400 additional seats at the busiest times every day for commuters.
Great Western Railway managing director, Mark Hopwood said: â€œThe Thames Valley is one of the most popular rail corridors in the UK. Weâ€™d already promised the current fleet would be upgraded to provide much needed additional capacity and faster journey times, but this deal goes even further offering the comfort of what will be most up-to-date commuter fleet on the UK rail network.â€
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:â€œThese new trains will deliver better journeys to passengers who will benefit from the extra space and comfort on some of the busiest routes in the country.
â€œProjects like this show how our record investment in the railways is making a real difference to commuters and leisure travellers, as well as stimulating economic growth across the Thames Valley and beyond.â€ Bombardier Transportation UKâ€™s Managing Director, Richard Hunter said:â€œBombardier is proud to support the Department for Transport and GWR in providing the increase in capacity required for passenger growth by delivering further units of its leading class Electrostar product.â€
Porterbrookâ€™s Commercial Director, Olivier AndrÃ© said: â€œPorterbrook would like to thank GWR for their confidence in its ability to deliver once again the introduction of a new fleet in partnership with Bombardier Transportation.
â€œWith this investment, Porterbrook demonstrates its support to the aspirations of the rail industry and the Department for Transport to alleviate the capacity pinch points in the network and provide Britain with a sustainable, world-class transport system.â€