The Anonymous Widower

Could Class 387 Trains Help Out On The Gospel Oak To Barking Line?

This tweet was on the Goblin Users Twitter Account this morning.

We are trying to persuade @TfL to approach @c2c_Rail to hire in some Class 387s for weekend services, even just on Saturdays would help. @c2c_Rail have 6xClass 387s and they are not used at weekends.

It’s an interesting thought.

  • They are very good trains.
  • Class 387 trains are four-car Electrostars and many are dual-voltage, if that is needed.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line needs three more trains for a full service, after the departure of the Class 172 trains.
  • In addition to c2c, they are used by Great Northern and Great Western.

But at 110 mph, are they over-powered for the Gospel Oak to Barking Line?

But what would happen if TfL Rail were to take over services between Paddington and Reading?

  • Would this release some of Great Western’s Class 387 trains?
  • Great Western are updating twelve trains for Heathrow Express.

I do think that there could be three trains with no place to go because of the late-running electrification of the Great Western Main Line.

January 31, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. The trouble in letting TfL take over railway network around London is that the Mayor is responsible for it and given the electorate then rolling stock, service, fares and even paths would tend to be optimised for commuters within Greater London at the expense of those who live outside – one only has to look at the outer reaches of the Met’ – low frequency, high fares, improvements delayed or cancelled etc.

    Comment by Mark Clayton | January 31, 2019 | Reply

  2. A lot of TfL’s problems at the present are because the Mayor promised a fare freeze, if he were to be elected. The Goblin is a scheme that has been mainly funded by Central Government. The problems now are caused by software problems on the new trains, so TfL is having to scratch around looking for suitable trains.

    One of the national problems we have is that there is no fleet of suitable trains to use in emergencies. Direct Rail Services will supply two Class 68 locomotives and some clapped out coaches, but what is needed is perhaps ten Class 769 trains or similar, that can run on most lines to be used in the following circumstances.

    Late electrification – As in Manchester-Preston

    Late delivery of trains – As in Todmorden or the Goblin

    Testing new services

    Filling in for level crossing accidents – As in East Anglia and Lincolnshire.

    Providing extra trains in emergencies – As in Workington

    Providing extra trains for big events – As in Glastonbury or the Open

    Rail replacement trains

    It sounds like a business that Rail Operations Group will be looking at.

    Comment by AnonW | January 31, 2019 | Reply

  3. One advantage of using spare C2C trains at weekends is that there is a direct connection from C2C to GOBLIN at Barking Station making it possible to run a train from East Ham Depot to Tilbury branch at Barking which could then reverse and run onto GOBLIN .

    It’s worth remembering that the 387s used by C2C operate as Fixed formation 12 carriage trains and their internal layout with plenty of seats many with tables may not be suitable for short distance services .

    Could C2C 357s be used as these are used as 4 carriage trains ?

    Comment by Melvyn | January 31, 2019 | Reply

    • I feel that as they only need three trains, something will be found.

      On the other hand Bombardier could find a temporary solution to getting the 710s running! Perhaps with an on-board technician! They probably want to be the heroes, so are probably pulling out all the stops!

      Comment by AnonW | January 31, 2019 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.