British Rail Class 387

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British Rail Class 387
In service Due to enter service in 2015
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Family name Electrostar
Number built 29 to be built
Formation 4 cars per trainset
Operator Govia Thameslink Railway
Maximum speed 110 mph (177 km/h)
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC overhead
750 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (Standard Gauge)

The Class 387[1] is an alternating current (AC), electric multiple unit (EMU) being built by Bombardier Transportation for Govia Thameslink Railway - operator of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise on the Thameslink Route.

These trains are part of the Electrostar family[2] and delivery of these units is expected in 2015.

They have been ordered to enable the existing class 319 EMUs on the Thameslink Route to be cascaded to Northern Rail to operate on the newly electrified Manchester Victoria - Liverpool Lime Street via Newton-le-Willows route.

The use of these trains on the Thameslink Route is an interim measure due to the late delivery of the Thameslink Programme, upon the introduction of the new Class 700 Desiro City trains they will be cascaded to other routes.


The Class 387 is a development of the British Rail Class 379 to produce a variant of the Electrostar capable of 110 mph (177 km/h) operation. Greater Anglia 379003 was hired by Bombardier Transportation to participate in high speed trials at speeds of up to 110 mph on the West Coast Main Line between Crewe and Stafford in December 2013.

The incentive to upgrade existing rolling stock to 110 mph is to release additional pathing slots on routes with line speeds up to 125 mph that are not available to vehicles restricted to 100 mph. London Midland was the first operator to undertake this venture with the British Rail Class 350 to liberate additional paths between London Euston and Rugby on the West Coast Main Line to coincide with the introduction of a new timetable to provide faster services between the Trent Valley and London.


After Thameslink, it is planned[according to whom?] that 387s will operate a half-hourly London St Pancras to Corby service from 2017, once the Midland Main Line has been electrified beyond Bedford as part of the Electric Spine project. The trains will initially be operated as part of the Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern franchise until sufficient Class 700s are available to allow the 387s to be cascaded to newly electrified lines [3] which Rail magazine claims will be within the East Midlands franchise.[4] However, the Network Rail CP5 delivery plan published in March 2014 specifies a key assumption that 125mph electric units will be used on the Midland Mainline except for Corby-London which will be operated by class 377s in up to 12 car formation.[5]