The first vehicle of Southern’s 26 five-car class 377/6s has been completed at Bombardier’s Derby works.
Static testing of the first train commences in February. The completed unit is expected to leave Derby late spring with testing on the mainline taking place in Kent. Their introduction into passenger service will allow class 456s to be cascaded to South West Trains after they have received a C6 overhaul.
All of the 130 vehicles are expected to enter traffic in time for the December 2013 timetable change. On 14 November Southern announced that it was exercising
the option, which was due to expire on 31 December, to order 40 more ( 8 five-car sets ) Electrostar vehicles from Bombardier. These will be delivered in 2014 and, unlike the 377/6, will be dual voltage.
The new suburban 377/6s were ordered because the 23 377/5s, and three of its own 377/2s, currently sublet to First Capital Connect are not due to be returned to Southern before 2015 as originally planned. This is as a result in
delays in procuring the new Thameslink stock. All of the 34 new units are being funded by Porterbrook. The contract for the first 26 trains is worth £188.8 million and for the other eight around £34 million.