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GWR shows off the first of its new Class 387 EMUs

GWR 387136 inside Derby Litchurch Lane on August 12.

New electric multiple units for Great Western Railway were unveiled on August 12, ahead of their introduction into traffic on September 5.

Bombardier has built the first eight of 45 EMUs for GWR - Class 387/1s that will be used on Thames Valley routes. Initially they will be used between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington.

GWR spokesman James Davis told RAIL that further rollout of the trains depended upon Network Rail’s electrification programme. He said that “GWR expects to be using these trains across its electrified Thames Valley network by autumn 2017”.

The first eight trains to be delivered (387130-387137) were ordered when First was awarded the franchise in March 2015 (RAIL 770). The 37 additional EMUs were ordered this year, replacing the planned cascade of 29 four-car Class 387/1s from Govia Thameslink Railway. The additional order contains 23 new EMUs and 14 that had been ordered speculatively by Porterbrook.

Davis said that the full rollout of the remaining 37 trains “depends on Network Rail electrifying the Thames Valley”.

Also dependent upon NR is the use of ‘387s’ at 110mph. They have been built to operate at this speed, but Davis explained that it was too early to state when this would begin because timetables have yet to be agreed with the infrastructure company, and it depended upon the completion of the electrification work.

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 808, published on August 31.
  • For more on the launch of the '387/1s', read RAIL 809, published on September 14.

New trains for Great Western Railway Gallery

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  • Noam Bleicher - 30/08/2016 09:46

    I think more detail is required before we rejoice at this new kit. Are the saloons shown, with tables and power sockets, Standard or First Class? If Standard, how many table seats will there be per car? You'll forgive me for my cynicism about a company that thinks a 165 is an acceptable product for fast trains to Oxford, Worcester, even Hereford. It's also a concern that they will only be four cars. The Thames Valley service requires most trains to be double sets - single sets are 'ram-packed' as Jeremy would say. Why not just deliver in 8-car sets like on Thameslink?

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  • Noam Bleicher - 30/08/2016 09:47

    I think more detail is required before we rejoice at this new kit. Are the saloons shown, with tables and power sockets, Standard or First Class? If Standard, how many table seats will there be per car? You'll forgive me for my cynicism about a company that thinks a 165 is an acceptable product for fast trains to Oxford, Worcester, even Hereford. It's also a concern that they will only be four cars. The Thames Valley service requires most trains to be double sets - single sets are 'ram-packed' as Jeremy would say. Why not just deliver in 8-car sets like on Thameslink?

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  • Charlie - 30/08/2016 11:05

    As for the 8 car sets! Not many people get on the Oxford service even on the 165s and 166s so it would be logical to have them as 4 car units! However the flexibility of four car is to cope with excess passengers from Reading to Paddington once Crossrail comes into play may help. They would be operating in 8 or 12 car formations as from when the networker turbos go further west, all trains leaving Paddington would be between 8 or 12 cars except from 5 car Heathrow connect service diagrams!

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    • Noam Bleicher - 31/08/2016 09:09

      You must be talking about a different Oxford to the one I live in... a typical mid-morning service loads a three-car Turbo almost fully at Oxford, with Reading and Slough passengers standing in the vestibules. With 2+2 seating the four-cars will only have the same number of seats as a three-car Turbo, so double sets are needed: i. to accommodate organic growth, running at a few percent a year; ii. to cope with spikes in demand such as Christmas shopping, summer tourists and the inevitable network disruption.

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  • Richard Woodward - 30/08/2016 21:22

    Such ugly front ends. The turbostars and networker trains are far more modern and attractive to look at. Have we totally trashed aesthetics? It seems so.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 30/08/2016 21:43

    So Bombardier are to finish off building the Class 387's for GWR and 6 Class 387's for c2c which will be the last ever Electrostar trains to be built then Bombardier will carry on building the 9-car Class 345's for Elizabeth Line and next year will also see 4-car Class 710's to be built for London Overground.

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    • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 30/08/2016 22:27

      45 Class 387's for GWR. As I meant.

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