Class 700s

New trains for the digital age

The all new Siemens Class 700 Desiro City train is the world’s first ‘second generation’ fully digitally-enabled train in passenger service, and provides significantly increased passenger capacity as well as improved safety, security, comfort and economy.

It is also the first mainline train to successfully use Automatic Train Operation and the European Train Control System, and as such was at the heart of the government-sponsored, £7 billion Thameslink Programme which  delivered much needed additional capacity for routes across London. The Government is investing in the network to increase capacity, boost reliability, improve journeys by modernising the existing railway fabric, upgrading stations and introducing new trains and carriages.

Combining the benefits of a commuter and metro train

Designed for a 35-year life, the first Class 700 entered into service in June 2016. During the adverse winter weather in early 2018, the Class 700 was the only train to remain in normal service with over 50% right time running of services maintained. This was far in excess of any other mainline operation affected by the weather. Since the introduction of the Class 700 trains, right time arrivals in the core Thameslink area have also significantly improved.

Govia Thameslink Railway accepted the full fleet of 115 trains in summer 2018. By the end of 2019, the whole of the new fleet will be in service and will flow in and out of central London every two and a half minutes during peak periods, providing 80% more seats across the capital.

Delivering benefits to the customer

As the central piece in the complex Thameslink Programme jigsaw, the key benefit of the Class 700 is its ability to efficiently, effectively, safely and comfortably move large volumes of passengers, the train having been designed to:

  • Accommodate comfortable and safe standing
  • Optimise passenger flow in, out and through the train
  • Accommodate airport luggage etc (Gatwick and Luton are on the Thameslink route)
  • Maximise capacity through the 2×2 seating arrangement and larger aisles
  • Be accessible to passengers with bikes, buggies and wheelchairs
  • Support cleaning and fast turn arounds for maintenance to enhance utilisation

Amongst a wide range of passenger benefits is the Class 700’s state-of-the-art information system, which uses the train’s digital platform to provide advanced information and connectivity to passengers, including:

  • Live travel information; covering the status of both mainline and London Underground services to help passengers effectively plan their onward travel arrangements
  • Carriage occupancy; using a loading assessment, passengers are advised which carriages have space and which are full. Currently this displays information within the train, but the service can also be rolled out to platform displays
  • General passenger information (route, next station etc)

For the comfort of passengers, the Class 700 also features a state-of-the-art climatic control system. The intelligent, fully automatic air conditioning system maintains temperature throughout the train at a constant 21⁰C, with the system compensating for carriage loading, so that the fuller carriages receive more cool air.

Related Case Studies

Meeting the engineering and logistical challenges: Class 700s

How key engineering and logistical challenges were met to enter new Siemens Class 700 Desiro City trains into service.

Meeting the technical targets: Class 700s

How the all new Siemens Class 700 trains meet the technical and reliability targets while delivering improved safety performance and value for money.

ETCS Testing – Thameslink Core Area

ETCS testing took place during mid-week nights through the Thameslink Core Area, while adjacent lines were open to service traffic, in preparation for ATO to be enabled.

Communications Lessons Learned

Lessons learned for the benefit of future projects including: Strategic Communications, Brand Development, Blockade & Complex Works, Introduction of New Trains, Stakeholder Engagement and New Timetable.

Introducing the Siemens Class 700 fleet into service

The introduction of a whole new train fleet delivered huge benefits to passengers while demonstrating that working flexibly and collaboratively led to impressive speed improvements in the commissioning of rolling stock.