A fleet of suburban and commuter service trains operated by Southern are to be given an upgrade over the next few months, with the first of the refitted trains coming into service this autumn.
The five-year £55 million programme will modernise the Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern ‘Electrostar’ fleets, 270 trains in all – of which 214 ‘Class 377s’ trains are used on the Southern network.
The passenger enhancements range from real-time passenger information screens and USB/power points by the seats.
To improve reliability, the trains will be fitted with an upgraded on-Train data recorder that will help predict and diagnose faults and streamline maintenance. New forward-facing CCTV cameras will help GTR and Network Rail investigate incidents that have delayed the service that day.
Passenger-counting technology will also be fitted, to allow GTR to better analyse how busy trains are.
The first refurbished train is expected to emerge from Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Selhurst Depot in the autumn. When the programme is in full swing, GTR’s engineers, guided by the trains’ manufacturer Bombardier, will be working on a constant one-per-week stream of trains.