GTR Retrofits First Class 387 with ETCS Signalling

Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) first Class 387/1 Great Northern Electrostar train has been retrofitted with ETCS in-cab signalling as part of the East Coast Digital Programme.

The Alstom ATLAS 3 ETCS solution was installed on Unit 387101, along with the necessary equipment to allow the in-cab-signalling system to function.

This is the country’s first major commuter train to be retrofitted with the technology.

GTR and Alstom with the ‘first-in-class’ 387/1 that has been fitted with ETCS in-cab signalling

Following this installation, the train was hauled to Alstom’s Litchurch Lane manufacturing site in Derby, where Train Control Management System software will be installed and the onboard ETCS system will be commissioned prior to static testing.

The unit will then be taken to Network Rail’s RIDC test track at Melton Mowbray for dynamic testing, which is scheduled for completion in December 2023.

Following successful testing, GTR will retrofit the remaining 28 387/1 units at its in-house depot in Hornsey, north London.

GTR’s ERTMS Fleet Project Manager Aaron Meakin said:

“We’re delighted that our Class 387 train is the first commuter train to be retrofitted with the latest ETCS system – a key milestone for both us as GTR and the East Coast Digital Programme as we move towards digitally signalled operations on some of our key routes. We’re looking forward to seeing how it performs in static and dynamic testing in the coming months.”

The East Coast Digital Programme will remove traditional signals from the tracks on the Northern City Line to London Moorgate and the East Coast Mainline from London to Stoke Tunnels.

These will be replaced with Alstom’s digital signalling technology in order to improve reliability and train performance.

Aaron Weeks, Project Director for Alstom said:

“Alstom is proud to be supporting the East Coast Digital Programme and our partners at GTR and Porterbrook as they transition to a new, digital railway. It is an important project milestone for the Alstom team completing the fitment of the ATLAS equipment on the first-in-class unit. We are now looking forward to static and then dynamic testing in the coming months, which will validate the system and give us the evidence required for authorisation of the unit.”

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