Great Western Railway has announced that it has received the first ‘tri-mode’ train, which runs on overhead wires, third rail, and in diesel mode.
The Class 769 trains are expected to begin running in passenger service between Reading and Gatwick by early 2021.
Thanks to the train leasing company, Porterbrook, the first Class 769, out of a total of 19 ‘Flex’ trains, has arrived at Reading Depot for training and testing.
Class 769 trains offer more carriages than the outgoing trains, with the 769s being specially commissioned by Great Western Railway to be able to run using overhead wires in London and the Thames Valley, using the third rail on the North Downs line as well as supporting the operator with plans to expand train services on the North Downs between Reading, Redhill and Gatwick.
Class 769 trains will allow Great Western Railway to release some of their Turbo trains to add capacity around Bristol.
The tri-mode Class 769 ‘Flex’ trains are converted from Class 319 electric trains. They have been refurbished with WiFi and power at every seat.
GWR Head of Fleet Production John Murphy said: “A lot of hard work has been done to make sure people feel that they can travel safely at the present time, and that includes running more trains and carriages to make extra room.
“Planning is well under way for a further uplift in services in mid-September, re-introducing even more services across the GWR network to help accommodate a return to travel for school, college or for work and adding some new services for the first time.
“This news shows we have not stopped looking at ways to further improve our service for customers.”
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