posted on 6th Aug 2022 17:57
In February 2021, Rail Operations UK (ROUK) have completed a Sale and Purchase Agreement with Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), the parent company of Heathrow Express, to acquire the fleet of five Class 360/2 EMUs, plus spare parts. The Class 360/2s were previously used to operate the Heathrow Connect stopping services on the route between Heathrow Airport and London Paddington.
The purchase of the units by ROUK followed on from the announcement that the company has ordered 30 Class 93 tri-mode locomotives. Gordon Cox, ROG Business Development Director, explained that: "ROUK have identified the potential of this well-maintained multiple unit fleet to assist in our transformation of UK rail freight logistics."
However, the „transformation of UK rail freight logistics“ did not involve these Desiro UK units. Now ROUK has said that: „The Class 360 Desiro EMUs remain in store at MoD Bicester. It is not the intention of ROUK to repurpose the units. Negotiations continue relating to the possible return of the units into passenger service. This is for two reasons. Firstly, we had already committed to using 319s and 768s for freight operations. Secondly, the 360s are not suited to freight operations for a number of technical reasons, e. g. location of traction equipment and other components.“