First train in GTR’s £55 million fleet modernisation programme is back in service

Some good news to make the train journey more pleasant.

The first upgraded Southern Class 377 train has entered passenger service.

This milestone marks the first step of this £55 million train modernisation programme for Govia Thameslink Railway’s entire ‘Bombardier Electrostar’ train fleet – funded by Porterbrook, the train owner from whom GTR leases the fleets.

Delivered by GTR’s in-house engineering team (pictured), this upgrade will bring all 270 trains – Class 377 for Southern and Class 387 for Gatwick Express and Great Northern, up to the same level of passenger facilities and the latest “smart” on-board diagnostic systems.

The first unit, 377430, boasts an improved customer experience including new plug and USB sockets; and new media screens which will display real time information in the coming months. In addition, the train is now more environmentally friendly with new energy-saving LED lights fitted.

Additional passenger-counting technology, similar to that used on Thameslink Class 700 and Great Northern Class 717’s, has been fitted to enable to analyse how busy trains are, further helping to support social distancing and timetable planning. Live-loadings will be displayed on the media screens when real-time information is introduced to them.

To improve reliability, the train has been fitted with an upgraded On-Train Data Recorder that will help predict and diagnose faults and streamline maintenance. We have also installed forward-facing CCTV cameras which will help GTR and Network Rail investigate incidents that have delayed services and inspect the track for potential future hazards.