UK rail leasing company Porterbrook has acquired the fleet of 30 Class 379 Electrostar EMUs which will enter service again with rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). 

The trains, which were previously used by operator Greater Anglia, will be leased by GTR for its Great Northern route as part of the £50m contract signed between the operator and Porterbrook earlier in March. 

Stefan Rose, Porterbrook’s chief investment officer, said: “We’re pleased to take these vehicles under our wing. This is an excellent fleet of Electrostars with a long service life ahead of them, perfectly suited to GTR’s requirements.” 

The Class 379 trains will be the first of their kind to join Porterbrook’s fleet on loan to GTR, which currently consists of 962 Class 377s and 260 Class 387s, making it the largest Electrostar fleet in the UK. 

The 30-strong fleet of Class 379s was built by Bombardier Transportation, now Alstom, in 2011 and originally owned by Akiem which leased the trains to now defunct operator National Express East Anglia (NEEA). 

Following the end of the NEEA franchise, the trains were used by Greater Anglia until they were replaced by a fleet of Stadler Class 745 FLIRT trains and placed into storage in February 2022. 

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Porterbrook’s acquisition of the fleet for an undisclosed sum means it will enter service again in the UK for the first time in two years, confirming rumours it is to be used for Great Northern services. 

Steve Lammin, GTR’s engineering director said: “Subject to acceptance, these additional trains will start the development of a design for the future growing demand across our network. 

“These extra units provide an opportunity to support our business plan delivery in providing excellent service for our customers.”