Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Heathrow Express launches first fleet refresh in two decades | News

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Heathrow Express has launched a newly refurbished fleet of 12 Class 387 trains, the first refresh since the service launched over 20 years ago.

In keeping with Heathrow Express’ sustainability values, the fleet has been up-cycled from GWR, with upgraded interiors fitted out to a high and exacting standard.

The trains also have regenerative braking which mean trains slow by electric motor rather than brake shoes and discs.

This reduces wear and tear and minimises damage to the train and rails caused by ‘wheel slides’ as well as generating electricity which is fed back into the overhead power grid. 

The new fleet features the latest train technology including the new ETCS (European Train Control System) signalling system, which continuously calculates a safe maximum speed for each train, with cab signalling for the driver and on-board systems that take control if the permissible speed is exceeded.

This means Heathrow Express is at the forefront of the industry-wide roll out of state-of-the-art signalling technology.

Passengers will also have a more comfortable journey with more space for wheelchair users, double the number of toilets and a continuous gangway through the whole train.

Replacing the old Class 332s, the new fleet will provide Heathrow passengers with an unrivalled 15-minute journey with an even better and more reliable journey with plenty of space, luggage storage and fast on-board 4G enabled Wi-Fi, which will work continuously across Heathrow. 

The modern interiors include USB plugs with every plug socket, making it easier for international passengers to charge devices while they travel.

Every carriage has more and improved TV screens showing live flight and rail connection updates, daily news highlights and shopping deals at Heathrow.

Sophie Chapman, director, Heathrow Express, said: “I am delighted to introduce the new Heathrow Express 387 fleet, which will provide Heathrow passengers with a modern, reliable train for their journey between central London and the UK’s hub airport.

“I am also pleased that Heathrow Express is at the forefront of the industry-wide roll out of state-of-the-art signalling technology as we are one of the first UK train companies to run the European Train Control System – a huge step forward for the British rail industry.

“ETCS provides an on-board signalling system which is a gold standard of safety and efficiency.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Heathrow Express is currently running two trains an hour, but is closely monitoring the changing travel landscape and is working with colleagues at Heathrow and across the travel industry to ensure that the service is returned to its regular schedule of every 15 -minutes as restrictions ease.



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