Bombardier Transportation has secured a contract from rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook to equip 12 Class 387 trains with digital signalling systems.

The trains are set to serve the Heathrow Express rail link in the UK.

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Bombardier will install in-cab ETCS signalling on class 387 Electrostar trains, as well as carry out specific on-board conversions.

They will be fitted with fast Wi-Fi systems, televisions, at-seat power and improved seating arrangement with space for additional luggage.

Bombardier will be responsible for engineering and design at Derby Litchurch Lane Works. The fitment will take place at its Ilford depot.

“This first-in-fleet fitment will enable us to accelerate ETCS fitment on other Electrostar fleets.”

The upgrade programme involves an investment of £11m and is scheduled to be completed by December.

Once completed, the 12 converted trains will form the dedicated Heathrow Express fleet and offer services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.

The rail link is operated by Heathrow Express Operating Company, with Great Western Railway delivering some operational aspects of the service.

Bombardier Transportation Rail Control Solutions president Richard Hunter said: “This first-in-fleet fitment will enable us to accelerate ETCS fitment on other Electrostar fleets, as and when our customers require it.

“As a global signalling solutions provider, we are delighted to be working with Porterbrook, Heathrow Express and Great Western Railway on this project, an exciting next step in the delivery of the Digital Railway.”

According to Porterbrook, this will be the first time that an existing fleet of electric passenger trains will be equipped with ETCS signalling.