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377501 Finally at Selhurst

377501 in the depot at Selhurst on 3rd February 2009

The history of the 377/5 sub-class has thus far been chequered!

In order to increase capacity on services by lengthening trains, not only are the remaining four Class 319 units with being transferred but an additional 23 dual voltage/pickup units are to be supplied. These come in the form of Bombardier Electrostars designated class 377/5. These are basically 377/2 units and as they will eventually be leased to they have been built with specification interiors but externally in First Group colours.

377501 out in the snowy yard at Selhurst on 5th February 2009

will sub-lease this fleet to and given 's long experience with Electrostars they are responsible for accepting and commissioning the units.

Construction of the entire fleet has suffered from non-availability of components from sub-contractors who have had difficulty obtaining credit to buy raw materials. Which is both ironic and dangerous for business given that this, the only remaining British train building operation, currently has a healthy order book.

377501 being tested at Selhurst on 5th February 2009

Delivery of the first unit to Selhurst was also much delayed due to the amount of "snagging" required before it was permitted to move south from Derby. The move finally happened overnight 30th into 31st January 2009.

(top left) 377501 is seen within Selhurst depot on 3rd February and then (above left and left) outside being tested on 5th February, the first day it ran under its own power on the national rail network.

photographs by Bob Green