First of 270 GTR Electrostar Trains Back in Service after Modernisation

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is modernising 270 Class 377 and Class 387 Bombardier Electrostar trains in its fleet. The first updated unit (a Class 377) has now returned to passenger service.

The modernisation programme is costing a total of 55 million GBP. Govia Thameslink Railway operates the Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern franchise, the largest railway franchise in the UK. Furthermore, GTR has the UK’s largest fleet of Electrostars, which is the most common type of electric train in the country since British Rail was privatised and the franchises were introduced in the 1990s.

The first modernised Electrostar in the GTR fleet
The first modernised Electrostar in the GTR fleet


The modernised Electrostar now has new real-time passenger information screens as well as at-seat charging facilities. Engineers installed LED lighting and passenger counting technology. The train also has been equipped with on-board monitoring capabilities and a fault diagnosis system in order to streamline maintenance activities.

The modernisation programme is taking place at GTR’s Selhurst Depot in south London. The first train upgrade was completed on 5 February. The programme means GTR’s fleet will have standardised features, allowing engineers to streamline routine maintenance and repairs. One new feature is the on-board data recorder, which will help predict and diagnose faults. As a result, some problems can be addressed without sending the train back to the depot. CCTV cameras mounted on the front of the train will film the track to help analyse incidents.

The 55 million GBP maintenance programme is being paid for by the fleet’s owner, Porterbrook.