New spacious Thameslink trains unveiled at international trade show

New spacious Thameslink trains unveiled at international trade show

The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, today launched Siemens’ new state-of-the-art passenger train, the Class 700 Desiro City, which is set to transform journeys for millions of passengers across London and beyond.

Three fully-assembled cars for the new Class 700 train were unveiled for the first time by Siemens, alongside Cross London Trains and new operator Govia Thameslink Railway Limited, at Innotrans 2014 in Berlin. The trains will form the main rolling stock fleet for the Government sponsored £6.5bn Thameslink Programme, a series of fleet and infrastructure improvements on the north-south rail link across London.

The new electric Class 700 train will offer a much improved travel experience for passengers and, alongside the wider infrastructure improvements being delivered by Network Rail as part of the Thameslink Programme, will boost capacity and reliability on one of Europe’s busiest stretches of railway.

The first units, approximately 25% lighter than previous generations and up to 50% more energy efficient, will run on the Thameslink Bedford to Brighton service through central London in spring 2016 and on Peterborough and Cambridge Great Northern services a year later. By the end of 2018, when the Thameslink Programme is complete, the two services will join at St Pancras International, and run through central London every two to three minutes at the busiest times. This equates to 24 trains per hour in each direction between St Pancras International and London Blackfriars..

The trains will run on a newly-upgraded network, featuring a state-of-the-art signaling system and rebuilt stations at London Bridge and Blackfriars. The Thameslink network also provides an interchange with London’s new Crossrail line, due to open in 2018, via an expanded and upgraded station at Farringdon.

Many components for the Thameslink trains will be manufactured in the UK including for example at Siemens’ site in Hebburn, near Newcastle, creating around 300 local jobs. The Thameslink Programme will create around 8000 jobs in total, including up to 2000 in support of the new trains, across the UK supply chain.

The Class 700 trains have also recently been chosen to provide additional capacity on the South West Trains franchise for passengers travelling into London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest station, as part of a £210m deal. The 150 new carriages will create capacity for more than 24,000 additional peak-time passengers every day, and will start running from 2017.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “A world-class rail network needs world-class trains, and it is fantastic to see the spacious and energy-efficient new carriages that passengers will soon be able to use.

“As part of our long-term economic plan, we are investing record amounts in transforming the rail network, providing more seats, better connections and improved journeys. The Thameslink Pro-gramme is central to this. These trains will provide real benefits to passengers when they come into operation.”

 Dr. Jochen Eickholt, CEO Siemens-Division Rail Systems, said:

 “Over 80 million Euros has been invested by Siemens in the design and development of the Class 700. This represents an investment in innovative rail design, leading technology and an improved passenger experience. We are delighted to have developed this train of the future and are thrilled that this has been recognised by both the Secretary of State and the international rail technology community”.

Andy Pitt, Executive Chairman, Cross London Trains, said:

 “Cross London Trains is delighted to have financed these Class 700 trains and it is fantastic to see the state-of-the-art train showcased at such an industry leading event”.

 Charles Horton, Chief Executive Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway Limited (GTR), which operates Thameslink and Great Northern services, said:

“The Class 700 will completely transform the travelling experience of our passengers, unlocking the potential of the Thameslink Programme to increase capacity and address the heavy crowding many experience on a daily basis.

“Acting as delivery agent for the Government, we will introduce this new fleet, with trains arriving first on Thameslink in 2016 and then on Great Northern a year later. When the two routes join in 2018 there will be fabulous new connections across the south east.”