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During April and May 2012, 86259 was at the West Coast Railway Company's headquarters at Carnforth for the fitting of GSM-R.

So what is GSM-R?

It is the GLOBAL SYSTEMS FOR MOBILE COMMUNICATION - RAILWAY, which will replace two existing analogue radio systems, 'CSR' (Cab Secure Radio) and 'NRN' (National Radio Network), which are life-expired.

National Rail have decreed that December 2012 is the deadline for all trains to be fitted with GSM-R. It is based on the GSM standard used for all non-3G mobile phones and, as part of the European Traffic Management System, it is hoped that it will bring a significant improvement in the quality of voice and data communications.

GSM-R is being adopted by 38 countries including all the EU member states and (in theory) means that 86259 can operate anywhere under 25kV AC wires in Europe!