UK-based train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and leasing company Porterbrook have launched a £55m programme to upgrade the Electrostar train fleet.

The five-year programme will involve equipping the trains with real-time passenger information screens, USB charging and power points, and LED lighting to reduce energy consumption.

The trains will also be fitted with upgraded on-train data recorder to predict and diagnose faults, as well as streamline vehicle maintenance.

A passenger counting technology will be rolled out to procure the latest ridership data and refine social distancing protocols.

New forward-facing CCTV cameras will also be installed to facilitate investigations of incidents that delay services.

Overall, the programme includes 214 Class 377s trains that operate on the Southern network between London, Surrey, Sussex and the south coast; and 56 Class 387s for the Great Northern or Gatwick Express routes.

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GTR Engineering Director Steve Lammin said: “Taking on board our passengers’ feedback, this multi-faceted upgrade by our own team at Selhurst Depot will provide a better onboard experience and more reliability.

“I’m really pleased that GTR is working with Porterbrook and Bombardier to deliver this improvement programme that will continue to ‘build back’ a better railway for our customers.”

Porterbrook CEO Mary Grant said: “We are committed to helping GTR meet the needs of its travelling customers. This is why Porterbrook is investing £55m in the Electrostar fleet to significantly enhance passenger facilities and improve reliability using digital analytics.”

The first upgraded train is expected to be delivered from GTR’s Selhurst Depot later this year.

GTR operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services.

In July, the company announced that passengers can purchase season tickets through the OnTrack phone app.