posted on 1st Jun 2023 08:47
Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR’s) first Class 387/1 Great Northern Electrostar EMU has now completed static testing of its retrofitted ETCS in-cab signalling equipment, as part of the East Coast Digital Programme. The Class 387 is the country’s first major commuter fleet to have the technology retrofitted, and it lays the foundations for the digital upgrade to be applied to the rest of the UK’s vast Electrostar fleet, for future expansion of ETCS across other routes.
Unit 387 101’s recently retrofitted Atlas 3 on-board ETCS was commissioned at Alstom’s Litchurch Lane manufacturing site in Derby where each new piece of equipment went through powered-up electrical testing. Alstom also carried out low-speed dynamic testing of the Eurobalise antenna and odometry system, which detect the train’s location.
On 23 May, the train was hauled by GBRf from Litchurch Lane to the Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC) in Melton Mowbray, where dynamic testing of the ETCS odometry equipment will commence, expected to take approximately three weeks. This is the first of three dynamic testing events for 387 101 at RIDC; all three tests are expected to have been completed by October 2023. This ‘first-in-class’ train is set to return in November 2023, after which GTR will fit the remaining 28 Class 387/1s at its in-house depot in Hornsey, north London.
The Government-funded East Coast Digital Programme will see traditional signals removed from the tracks on the Northern City Line to London Moorgate and the East Coast Mainline from London to Stoke Tunnels, south of Grantham. They will be replaced with state-of-the-art digital signalling technology.