GWR Class 387 Electrostar

UK: An agreement for the original manufacturers of existing rolling stock to take a more active role in the retrofitting of ETCS has been reached by leasing company Porterbrook, Siemens Mobility and Bombardier Transportation.

‘This is an excellent example of collaboration and partnership across the supply chain, where OEMs are putting the good of the industry and passengers ahead of short-term commercial gain’, said Porterbrook’s Chief Commercial Officer Stephen McGurk on February 11. ‘This will help speed-up fleet fitment and reduce contractual interfaces around integration.’

The first vehicles to be equipped under this approach are the GWR Bombardier Class 387 Electrostar EMUs which are being modified for use on Heathrow Express services. Last year Porterbrook awarded Bombardier an £11m contract to modify 12 EMUs as a dedicated pool for the airport service, equipping them with ETCS Level 2 as well as improved seating, additional luggage space, on-board TV and fast wi-fi.

This was the first contract for the retrofitting of ETCS on an existing fleet of electric passenger trains in the UK. 

Porterbrook said all parties recognised that Bombardier was best placed to provide and fit the on-board equipment, and to take a leading role in the retrofitting of ETCS to other Electrostar fleets.

Similarly, Siemens Mobility will take an active role in fitting ETCS equipment on vehicles which it originally manufactured. This is intended to ensure effective systems integration, minimum downtime and maximum fleet reliability.