Porterbrook announces new approach to fitting new tech to Electrostar trains

Gatwick Express
Credit: Sunil060902

Porterbrook, Siemens Mobility and Bombardier have announced that they have agreed on a new approach to the fitment of ETCS technology onto existing Electrostar trains.

Porterbrook will work with train manufacturers will look at taking a more active role in fitting onboard ETCS systems to the rolling stock they manufactured initially, ensuring the most cost-effective of installing this technology to existing fleets of Electrostar trains.

The first fleet that benefited from this approach was the Heathrow Express Class 387 trains to be operated by GWR. Bombardier built this fleet.

All companies recognise that Bombardier is best placed to provide and fit further onboard ETCS technology to this class of trains, and to take a leading role in developing built-in ETCS technology.

Extra 12 carriage trains into London from Great Western Railway
Credit: GWR

This will enable the planned retrofitting of digital signalling equipment to the wider Electrostar fleet.

Siemens Mobility will also take an active role in fitting onboard ETCS equipment on the fleets which they manufactured initially.

This will ensure effective systems integration, minimum re-engineering downtime and maximum fleet reliability in the long term.

What did the officials say?

Stephen McGurk, Porterbrook’s Chief Commercial Officer, said:

“This is an excellent example of collaboration and partnership across the supply chain, where OEMs are putting the good of the industry and passengers ahead of short-term commercial gain. This will help speed-up fleet fitment and reduce contractual interfaces around integration.”

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  1. What is happening to the 30x Class 379 Electrostar that Greater Anglia (Stansted Express) wants to get rid of it and to be replaced by the Class 745/1 Flirt and Class 720/1 & 720/5s Aventra. Will the Class 379 be cascaded to Great Northern or GWR/Heathrow Express or cascaded to Gautrain in South Africa.

    And 6x Class 387/3 Electrostar which c2c are replacing them with the Class 720/6s from next year and could be cascaded to Southern, Gatwick Express, Great Northern or GWR/Heathrow Express or cascaded to Gautrain along with the Class 379.

    Perhaps Greater Anglia should keep the Class 379s and to use them on services that may not accommodate 5-Car and 10-Car Class 720 Aventra units. Such as on the Crouch Valley Line (Wickford-Southminster).

  2. So far with the Bombardier Electrostar units that were built between late 1990s through to 2010s. Most of them have been completely refurbished and even cascaded to different train operators that has them. And some are to be replaced by new Bombardier Aventra trains if necessary. So here are the list of the Bombardier Electrostar AC, DC and Dual Voltage rolling stocks.

    •c2c has 74 Class 357 (46 357/0, 11 357/2 and 17 357/3). And 6 Class 387/3 (In which they are on hire until 2021 because c2c have ordered the Class 720/6 Aventra and is scheduled to enter service from 2021).

    •Southeastern has 112 Class 375, 36 Class 376 and 27 Class 377 (25 377/5 and 2 377/2). Making the total of 172 Electrostar units on Southeastern.
    •Southern has 214 Class 377 (377/1/2/3/4 & 377/6/7). With 2 Class 377/2 gone to Southeastern. And 25 Class 377/5 cascaded from Thameslink to Southeastern.

    •Greater Anglia has 30 Class 379 which are used on Stansted Express and West Anglia & Hertford East branch line routes and are soon to be replaced by the Class 745/1 Flirt and Class 720/1 & 720/5 Aventra later this year. Which we are not sure where the Class 379 will go to. Or perhaps to be cascaded to Gautrain in South Africa.

    •London Overground has 57 Class 378 (20 378/1 and 37 378/2). With 45 Class 710 Aventra trains to be built and 5 extra Class 720 5-Car for North London Line and West London Line services. As some of the Class 710s has entered service on the Gospel Oak-Barking Line, Euston-Watford DC Line and Lea Valley Lines (Liverpool Street-Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town) and soon to operate on the Romford-Upminster branch line.

    •GWR has 33 Class 387/1 with 12 been modified to operate on Heathrow Express and to replace the 14 Class 332.
    •Gatwick Express has 27 Class 387/2 with 1 Class 387/1 (387105 on loan from Great Northern).
    •Great Northern has 28 Class 387/1.


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