Rail Minister launches new Gatwick Express train fleet

The first train of a new £145m fleet for the Gatwick Express route has entered passenger service

The Class 387/2 Electrostar train was formally launched by, Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP on Thursday 10th March at London Victoria station.

The new train, built by Bombardier at its Derby factory is the first of a new fleet which replaces 30-year old rolling stock. The full fleet of 108 carriages is expected to be in place by the end of the summer, providing the non-stop premium service between Gatwick Airport and London, and extended Gatwick Express services to Brighton.

Angie Doll, Gatwick Express Passenger Service Director said: “This marks a real step change forward in the overall journey experience for Gatwick Express passengers. This superb new fleet replaces 30-year old rolling stock which is not designed for today’s airport passenger, and the introduction of our new trains is just the start of some really exciting improvements yet to come.”

Rail Minister Clare Perry said: “I am really pleased to see the new trains now in operation replacing 30 year old rolling stock. By the summer, all customers taking this premium service to Gatwick will enjoy improvements like on train Wi-Fi, real time passenger service information, dedicated luggage racks and accessible toilets. It is great to see GTR’s investment in the franchise starting to deliver real improvements for passengers.”

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport CEO, said: “This fleet of Gatwick Express trains has been designed with the air passenger in mind and heralds the start of a step change in rail services at Gatwick.

“In just two years, the new Gatwick Express trains will be complimented by a state of the art Thameslink fleet, which together will serve Gatwick with tube-like frequency. Shortly after, Gatwick will also complete a brand new train station so we can comfortably meet the expected increase in passenger numbers.”

The new train includes:

  • More First Class seats and tables
  • Power sockets throughout
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Real time passenger service information
  • Dedicated luggage racks in every carriage
  • Accessible toilets and baby changers
  • More spacious vestibule areas
  • Over-seat lighting
  • 2x2 seating with more leg room and under-seat storage capacity

Another great advantage over the train it replaces is that it has two double doors per carriage which will help passengers get on and off more quickly, and will be a boon to those with accessibility needs. For the Gatwick Express services that are extended to serve Brighton and stations in between, this should reduce dwell times at stations, helping to improve punctuality performance.

Free Wi-Fi will be provided to passengers that travel on the new GEX fleet as part of a trial which will allow us to analyse customer feedback and provide information on usage and receptivity to inform a wider rollout plan across all our fleets which is currently being discussed with the Department.

The new fleet of Class 387/2 Electrostar trains are manufactured by Bombardier at its factory in Derby and are owned by Porterbrook Leasing Company.