UPDATE: Heathrow Express fleet out of service for “foreseeable future”

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    Heathrow Express’ Class 332 fleet will remain out of service “for the foreseeable future” following the discovery of a defect on one of the trains earlier this week.

    The fleet was recalled on February 29 so that a full inspection could be carried out after a fault was found on one of the carriages.

    Heathrow Express has now announced that the trains won’t be returned to service any time soon after engineers found a “structural defect” on the underside of a number of other trains.

    Engineers have been flown in from Spain and Germany to assist the inspection and maintenance process.

    Heathrow Express director Fraser Brown said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues remains our top priority.

    “We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused so far, and assure passengers that we are doing everything we can to return to running a full and safe service, as quickly as possible. We would like to thank all our customers for their patience.”

    Class 360 Heathrow Connect units will operate a replacement service between Paddington and Heathrow while the investigation takes place. Heathrow Express ticket prices will be reduced in the meantime.

    9 COMMENTS

    1. Heathrow Express could ask Abellio Greater Anglia to borrow about 5 or 6 Class 360’s to be used as a temporary fleet as the Class 332’s are out of service for few weeks or few months.

        • Maybe that was the wrong idea. But they are limited of rolling stock as the Class 332’s are out of service for a while until Siemens/CAF can sort out the problem then they would fix the problem and then the Class 332’s will soon be back to normal service. Plus Heathrow Connect will be downgraded and to become Crossrail (TfL Elizabeth Line) from 2018.

          • Until the signalling on the Heathrow branch is replaced, only the Class 332 and 360/2 fleets are suitable. I don’t really see Crossrail as a ‘downgrade’, bearing in mind it’s going to replace 2tph with 4tph (doubling the frequency), with trains that are twice as long.

            • Correct, it’s no downgrade. Bigger trains, higher frequency, and eventually a service through the Crossrail core. An additional stop at Acton Main Line being the trade-off – but for most passengers this will be massively outweighed by the time savings from the increased frequency first, and not having to negotiate Paddington later.

    2. Even if the trains were suitable to use the Abellio train fleet is in such poor internal condition it would be toxic to the Heathrow Branding. Plus AGA dont have enough units to cover their current service and meet the inspection and maintenances schedule at the same time. Doesnt LM have a few off lease units? I know LOROL spot hired two ex LM units to cover for the Upminster Shuttle due to the dreadful condition of the fleet transferred over from AGA to LO in May 2015

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