Govia Thameslink Railway has temporarily sub-leased six Gatwick Express Class 387/2 units to Great Western Railway to help provide more capacity.
The first three units, 387204, 387205 and 387206, left Hornsey Depot in London today, 13th July, being hauled by a Direct Rail Services Class 57, No. 57306.
Back in April, Hitachi Class 80X trains were withdrawn across the country after cracks were found on the lifting points.
The loan of the six trains will help support Great Western Railway whilst a long-term repair programme is completed.
Gatwick Express services are temporarily withdrawn due to the coronavirus pandemic, hence they are spare. A number of the fleet have been assisting with Southern services.
The second batch of Class 387/2s will be sent to GWR later in July and GTR will adjust its remaining fleet to continue providing services and make sure it has sufficient rolling stock for its current timetable.
These trains will be returned to GTR when required for use on its own network.
GTR Chief Operating Officer Steve White said: “We’re committed to bringing back our Gatwick Express services when passenger numbers recover but, in the meantime, releasing these trains to help passengers and colleagues at GWR is the right thing to do.”
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “At the end of a very difficult period, it is pleasing to see the railway family supporting one another to ensure passengers get the best possible service.
“This industry collaboration will ensure that passengers have the resilient services they deserve as they return to the railways.”
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “The industry has come together to help support those travelling – sharing rolling stock to provide it to those who need it most, and I am grateful to our colleagues at GTR for the loan of these vehicles.
“These additional trains will provide far greater resilience for passengers and will also enable us to provide some extra space where it is needed most – for example adding extra carriages on some of our in-demand school train services.”
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