Great Western Railway (GWR) has done a deal with leasing company Porterbrook to run tri-mode trains on its London and Thames Valley services.
GWR’s new fleet of 19 Class 769 Flex trains are due to enter service next spring.
Diesel engines will allow the converted Class 319s to run under their own power, but they will also be capable of operating on both overhead and third-rail electrified routes.
The introduction of the four-car Class 769 Flex fleet will allow GWR to cascade some of its Class 166 Turbos to provide additional capacity around Bristol.
GWR has said the new fleet will initially support the introduction of refurbished trains on Heathrow Express services, which GWR will take over later this year. Although they will predominately operate on routes between Reading and Gatwick.
GWR’s managing director, Mark Hopwood, said: “We are already delivering the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation across the Great Western network, but today’s news shows we have not stopped looking at ways to improve our service for customers by adding extra capacity to our network.”
Mary Grant, chief executive of Porterbrook, added: “I am delighted that Great Western Railway have agreed to add our innovative tri-mode trains to their fleet.
“These trains will offer GWR greater operational flexibility with reduced operating costs; at the same time their conversion and upgrade will see skilled engineering jobs secured in the UK supply chain.”