Heathrow Express has launched a newly-refurbished fleet of 12 Class 387 trains with modern interiors and exteriors in iconic Heathrow purple. This marks the first fleet refresh since Heathrow Express launched in 1998.
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 onboard systems that take control if the permissible speed is exceeded. This means Heathrow Express is at the forefront of the industry-wide rollout 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. In addition, Business First passengers will enjoy worktables and extra legroom.
Replacing the old Class 332s, the new fleet took to the tracks on 29 December 2020 and will provide Heathrow passengers with a 15-minute journey with plenty of space, luggage storage and fast onboard 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.
“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,” says Sophie Chapman, Director, Heathrow Express. “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 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.”