UK’s Heathrow Express introduces first new fleet since 1998

21 January 2021 (Last Updated January 21st, 2021 12:07)

The UK's Heathrow Express has introduced a newly renovated fleet of a dozen Class 387 trains, marking the first new fleet since the launch of the service in 1998.

UK’s Heathrow Express introduces first new fleet since 1998
The new trains have deployed the latest train technology such as the new ETCS (European Train Control System) signalling system. Credit: Heathrow Express.

The UK’s Heathrow Express has introduced a newly renovated fleet of a dozen Class 387 trains, marking the first new fleet since the launch of the service in 1998.

The fleet has been upgraded from GWR, in line with Heathrow Express’ sustainability values, and fitted out with improved interiors after passing through high and exacting standards.

Instead of brake shoes and discs, the trains have regenerative braking, which reduces wear and tear, as well as train and rail damage.

Regenerative braking also produces electricity, which is fed back into the overhead power grid.

The new trains are equipped with the latest train technology such as the new European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling system.

This system constantly computes a safe maximum speed for each train and takes control if the permissible speed is surpassed.

The new fleet features more space for wheelchair users, luggage storage, fast onboard 4G-enabled Wi-Fi, and USB plugs with every plug socket. It has extra toilets and a continuous gangway throughout the train.

The trains replaced the old Class 332s and commenced services from 29 December 2020.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Heathrow Express is running two trains an hour currently instead of its regular schedule of every 15 minutes.

Heathrow Express director Sophie Chapman 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 rollout 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 onboard signalling system which is a gold standard of safety and efficiency.

“We are proud to be serving passengers who need to make essential journeys during the lockdown and they can be reassured that our new trains are subject to a comprehensive anti-bacterial cleaning regime, as well as providing the best and fastest service between Central London and Heathrow.”

Booked online, a single advanced ticket costs around £5.50 while fully refundable tickets start from £22.00 for a single Express Class journey and £32.00 for Business First.