UK: Great Western Railway has finalised a deal to lease 37 four-car Bombardier Transportation Class 387 Electrostar electric multiple-units from Porterbrook Leasing, which will take GWR’s Electrostar fleet to 45 units.

The Class 387s are to replace the ex-British Rail Class 165 and 166 diesel multiple-units deployed on services in the Thames Valley, providing ‘consistent, high-quality’ travel with at-seat power sockets, air-conditioning and free wi-fi. GWR plans to introduce the first of the Class 387s on a Hayes & Harlington – London Paddington service on September 5.

Eight of the 45 Class 387s were already on order. The latest deal confirmed on June 8 covers 14 units previously ordered by Porterbrook, and a further 23 units being built specifically for GWR.

This agreement for an all-new fleet replaces a previous plan which would have seen GWR operate the eight new Class 387s and 29 cascaded from Govia Thameslink Railway.

The EMUs are to be maintained and stabled at Reading depot, with arrangements in the London area currently under discussion.