British Rail Class 387

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British Rail Class 387 Electrostar
Class 387 at Luton.jpg
Class 387 at Luton Station
British Rail Class 387 Interior.jpg
Interior of a Thameslink Class 387 train
In service 7 December 2014 (2014-12-07) - current
Manufacturer Bombardier Derby
Family name Electrostar
Replaced Class 319
Class 442
Number built 64 to be built
Formation 4 cars per trainset
Operator Thameslink
Gatwick Express
First Great Western (Future)
Maximum speed 110 mph (175 km/h)
Electric system(s) 750 V DC Third rail
25 kV AC Overhead
Current collection method Contact shoe
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (Standard Gauge)

The Class 387 Electrostar[1] is a type of electric multiple unit (EMU) being built by Bombardier Transportation for Govia Thameslink Railway. These trains are part of the Electrostar family[2] and delivery of these units is expected to be completed in 2015.

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 transferred to First Great Western.

As part of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise commitments, 108 new carriages[3] have been ordered for Gatwick Express, designated Class 387/2.[4]


The Class 387 is a development of Bombardier’s Class 379 Electrostar that allows for a faster operational speed of 110 mph (175 km/h). This allows network operator Network Rail to release additional pathing slots on routes with line speeds up to 125 mph (200 km/h) that are not available to vehicles restricted to 100 mph (160 km/h).

The first Class 387 Electrostar trains were ordered to enable the existing Class 319 EMUs on the Thameslink route to be transferred to Northern Rail for use on the newly-electrified Manchester Victoria - Liverpool Lime Street via Newton-le-Willows route.[5][6]

Southern issued the OJEU notice in December 2012[5] with proposals received in January 2013. The invitation to tender for the fleet was released the following month with final offers being submitted by 18 June 2013. Southern announced it had signed a deal with Bombardier on 30 July 2013[7] for 116 carriages costing £180m after starting an open competition for the new trains in December 2012. The deal also included an extra 140 carriages worth an extra £205m.


The trains will initially be operated as part of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise between Bedford and Brighton displacing the Class 319 trains. The first units entered service on 7 December 2014 with the full fleet expected to be in service by the May 2015 timetable change.

Class 387/2[edit]

As part of Govia’s bid for the Thameslink franchise, 108 new carriages formed of 27 four-car units were ordered using some of the optional 140 extra Class 387 Electrostar carraiges. The order was announced on 18 November 2014[8] and the first units are expected on test in July 2015 with all 27 ready for passenger service by the December 2017 timetable change. Like the Thameslink class 387/1, the 387/2 units will likewise be dual voltage.

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 387/1 Thameslink 29 2014-2015 4 387101 – 387129
Class 387/2 Gatwick Express 27 2015 4 387201 – 387227
Class 387/3 First Great Western 8 2017 4 ?


Once the 387/1s are released from Thameslink they will be cascaded to First Great Western. First Great Western will also receive 8 new Class 387s, which will be built after the 387/2 order for Gatwick Express.[9]