Passengers travelling between Porstmouth, Brighton and Lewes are set to have their journeys transformed later this year, with the 47-year-old Class 313 units being replaced for a modern alternative.
The current 313’s, which happen to be the oldest rolling stock in the country, are extremely dated by contemporary standards, having no toilets or air conditioning facilities. These will be replaced by the Class 377 from Electrostar, a 21st-century, modernised mode of transportation that affords passengers with both toilets and air conditioning.
These units are currently in use on routes across the Southern network, coming with a proven track record of successful journeys and passenger satisfaction.
Customer services director for Southern, Jenny Saunders, said:
"We’re delighted to be replacing our 47-year-old coastal trains with modern, more reliable and comfortable 21st century rolling stock.
"These will transform passenger travel along the south coast with air-conditioning, comfortable interiors and accessible toilets.
“The busiest service group to Portsmouth will have an extra fourth carriage, compared to operations elsewhere, providing a third more space to meet customer demand on this more congested part of the network.”
The 313’s have been in service over a thirteen-year period across the current route, being introduced in May 2010, currently holding the title of the oldest electric multiple unit still in mainline operation nationally.
Conservative MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield, said:
"With the addition of air-conditioning, accessible toilets, and a £55m upgrade currently underway, these trains will be much more comfortable for passengers as there will also be more space on board as the three carriage Class 377 Electrostars will be used instead.
"This is welcome news for passengers on the local branch lines who have complained of not having the same level of carriage as the mainline trains for many years and I hope this change will improve local rail journeys.
"Thanks to Govia Thameslink Railway for listening to passengers."
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