Thursday, 12 February 2009
377501 First Images
Im luckly enough to have been given permisson by Paul from the southernrailway Yahoo Group of the first public images taken of First Capital Connect's first class 377, 377501 while on test at Brighton in the early hours of monday morning.
As you can see the units are 2+2 seating with Southern's green 'astroturf' seating covers. The inside of the units is to typical Southern spec. personally I dont really think that the green, purple and pink go really well but it seems FCC doesn't want to pay for the units to have their seat covers or Southern have said no.
So far the unit has been testing on the Brighton mainline during the late night/early morning. It was due to go testing on the West Coast Main Line this week but Im sorry to report the unit has been suffering multiple failures during testing. While I don't know the fault it has happened more than once but the last time it failed it was sent back to Selhurst and not allowed on test for the remander of this week. What I do know is that the unit must run 5,000 fault free miles before it is accepted for passanger service. So far it's well short of this with failures.
Problems arise as until they accept 377501 the delieveries of other units are going to be delayed until its sorted out. As it currently stands 377502 and 377503 are due/planned to be deliveried late friday/early saturday morning but this may now be delayed. It seems the plan to have five 377/5 Electrostars in service for the timetable change on March 22nd is in danger once again. I will remind you that the original plan was for the timetable change to happen in December 2008 with Moorgate branch and Blackfriars bay platform closing along with all 23 377/5's coming into service. Now the deadline of getting Blackfriars and Farringdon means the deadline can't be changed now and FCC is going to have to deal with less trains when it changes its timetables next month.
This date is know as Key Output Zero or KO0 (meaning no extra trains). KO1 comes in December 2011 with the rebuilt Blackfriars and Farringdon opened and extra services. KO2 is due to be completed in December 2015 with London Bridge and the viaduct between there and Blackfriars being completely rebuilt and giving FCC trains there own tracks from Kentish Town to Bermondsey. The new NeXt generation Electrical Multple Unit trains (NXEMU's) are due to be in service replacing all the current 319, 365, 313, 317 and the forthcoming 377 EMU's.
38 days remaining to Key Output Zero of Thameslink.