The first ‘Electrostars’ reach Didcot on training runs.
EMU driver training between Reading and Didcot began on March 20, No. 387140 seeing use on the first day and No. 387133 two days later. The ‘Electrostars’ should begin passenger operations on the line later in the year.
After a spell at Reading Traincare Depot for training, Nos. 387130/131 returned east behind No. 37800 as the 5G87/12.21 Reading-West Ealing EMU Sidings on February 21. Three days later, they were back in use on Paddington-Hayes & Harlington services.
Also on February 21, Nos. 387138/139 moved in the opposite direction to Reading, where they joined Nos. 387140/144. A further move on March 8 saw Nos. 387135/137 hauled to Reading by No. 57306 Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate 175, the loco returning with the aforementioned Nos. 387138/139. This was the first of several moves undertaken by the ‘Bodysnatcher’, with units being regularly swapped between West Ealing and Reading, both prior to and after the introduction of training runs to Didcot.
New units to emerge from Derby have been Nos. 387146 (on March 6, when it was taken to Bletchley by
No. 66551), and No. 387147, moved by No. 66556 on the 7X33/18.14 Derby Litchurch Lane-Bletchley on March 15. The pair were both in action on mileage accumulation runs on the WCML on March 20/21 and the next day made a trip to Brighton. No. 378148 emerged on March 28, being hauled to Bletchley by No. 66415.
With more than enough units available to cover testing/training and diagrammed services out Paddington, Nos. 387130/131 were placed in temporary store on March 28. The pair were moved by No. 57306 as the 5Z30/10.14 West Ealing-Old Oak Common, and are expected to remain there for several months.
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