First Siemens-built Thameslink train arrives in London

Posted on in News Archive

UK: The first brand new Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City train has arrived in the United Kingdom and are set to transform passenger experience on the Thameslink rail routes when it rolls into action next year.

Designed to provide much-needed extra capacity on the South-East’s busy commuter routes, the train arrived at the newly constructed Three Bridges traincare facility near Crawley, West Sussex.

Siemens and operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will now be undertaking an exhaustive testing programme.

Siemens Thameslink Train1 web

Passenger services will begin in spring 2016 on the Thameslink network between Bedford and Brighton and later on routes to and from Cambridge and Peterborough as well as to other destinations in Kent and Sussex, inlcuding London Luton and Gatwick Airports.

UK Rail Minister Claire Perry said: "We are investing record amounts building a world-class railway that provides more capacity, more services and better journeys. The Class 700 trains will transform rail travel for customers and provide a massive jobs boost for Britain and a significant boost to our economy. I am looking forward to these spacious new trains being introduced across London and the South East on schedule from spring next year providing quicker, more reliable and more comfortable journeys for millions of customers."

"Building the Class 700 Desiro City trains is, and continues to be, one of the most important projects at Siemens. The arrival of this first train signifies major progress in the project, and we are looking forward to the start of service next year", said Jochen Eickholt, CEO Siemens Mobility Division.

Siemens Thameslink Train2 web

The trains feature intelligent air conditioning, wide doors and open through-carriages which contribute to a more accessible and comfortable passenger experience. They will also bring the following benefits to commuters in 2018 in the morning three-hour peak:

  • Over double the number of carriages, providing 80% more peak seats across central London (between Blackfriars and St Pancras).
  • 60% increase in carriages and over 50% more seats from St Albans to London.
  • Additional trains from Gatwick Airport with over 50% more running across central London between Blackfriars and St Pancras, with four trains an hour continuing to Peterborough and Cambridge.
  • 1,000 extra seats from Brighton.
  • 15% more seats from stations along the line from Peterborough and Cambridge.

Siemens Thameslink Train3 web

In welcoming the new trains, GTR's Programme Director Keith Wallace said:
"The new Class 700 trains will bring many changes and benefits to our passengers - from more frequent services on longer trains, to greater capacity, easier access, better on-board information, and an altogether better train environment. We're looking forward to our passengers seeing them in service next spring."

"I am delighted to see the first Class 700 train arriving in the UK in what is another significant project milestone. The next few months will see a series of tests completed before the train takes its first outing in passenger service on the UK rail network – another step forward in ensuring the train is completely ready for passengers," added Andy Pitt, Executive Chairman of train owners Cross London Trains (XLT).

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