Great Western Electrostars
The Early Days
© copyright photographs by Colin Duff
|I have been a bit slower than many enthusiasts to get out to view, ride and photograph the new Class 387/1 Electrostar units on the Great Western. Even more remiss seeing as these will be running on my local trains from late 2018. However, I take the approach that as new trains they ought to be around for at least the next three decades in some form and some location, so there is no rush. It is more important to prioritise time to view, photograph and ride trains that will not be around for much longer. And it is not as if over the years I have been a stranger to riding and photographing Classes 375, 377 and 379 Electrostar trains. However, the need to travel into London for lunch on two successive days in late January gave me the opportunity for two short flits out of Paddington.|
|Ignore the red tail lights. 387132 is about to lead 387138 out of Paddington on the 11:15 to Hayes & Harlington. 24th January 2017.|
At the moment Electrostar services only go a comparatively short way to an extended bay platform at Hayes & Harlington. Here 387138 waits to return to Paddington with 387132 on the 11:48 working. 24th January 2017.
387138 is the first to GWR of the batch from Porterbrook's speculative order of 20 units, of which six have gone to c2c (as Class 387/3) until a new fleet of units is delivered and the balance of 14 units to GWR. What I did not know at the time was this was 387138's first day in service and also the first day in service of any unit from this batch.
|The weather was radically different the next day. 387135 with 387137 is stopping at a cold and damp Acton Mainline on the 10:45 Paddington to Hayes & Harlington service. 25th January 2017.|
The same train departing westwards a few minutes later.
GWR is getting 45 Class 387 units.
8 (387130 - 387137) as a follow on order from Porterbrook for Govia's 387/1 and 387/2 order for Thameslink>Great Northern and Gatwick Express services.
As mentioned above, 14 (387138 - 387151) from a speculative order placed by Porterbrook with Bombardier.
The remaining 23 (387152 - 387174) as a final order.
These will be the last Electrostar units to be built as Bombardier's Aventra range then supersedes.
|387133 running with consecutively numbered 387132 approaching Acton Mainline with the 10:48 from Hayes & Harlington. 25th January 2017. As I photographed 387132 in much better weather the previous day I did not bother this time.|
The corridor connection between two units, in this case between 387132 and 387138 at Hayes & Harlington on 24th January 2017.
|Class 387/1 units were the first type to carry the new six figure vehicle numbering system. The latter three digits signify the unit number, the first two digits identify type of train (but not unit class) and the third digit the car number, so this is the DMSO(B) of 387138.|
Just to restore some of my Southern Region credentials, GWR and c2c's Class 387 units retain the same traction capabilities as Govia's Class 387/1 and /2 units for Thameslink>Great Northern and Gatwick Express respectively. So - ta-da! - here is the DC conductor rail pick-up on the leading bogie of 387135. GWR and c2c Electrostar units were/are tested on DC to and from Brighton during their commissioning.
I look forward to GWR Electrostar units diverting from Reading into Waterloo in the future.....