The need for speed: Thameslink trains reach 100mph on test track

The need for speed: Thameslink trains reach 100mph on test track

The first completed Class 700 Desiro City train, designed and built by Siemens for Thameslink, has comfortably reached 100mph in a speed test at the company’s dedicated test track at Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany.

The 12-car train successfully achieved the speed earlier this month, marking an important milestone for the ongoing Thameslink Programme. Siemens is on schedule to complete the first train for handover to the long term owner and the train operator.

Iain Smith, Programme Director, Thameslink, at Siemens Rail Systems UK, said: “The Class 700 will be required to travel at up to 100mph every day in service so this rigorous testing process is a fundamental part of the programme. This will ensure reliable performance of the 24 train an hour service through central london when the Thameslink Programme is completed.”

Thameslink rail operator First Capital Connect (FCC) has been managing the new trains contract with Siemens for the Department for Transport.

FCC’s Thameslink Programme director Jonathan Bridgewood said: “Our pasengers have been looking forward to new trains on the Thameslink route with great anticipation. To actually now see one travelling at line speed on the test track in Germany is a wonderful achievement and a credit to everyone involved in the project.”

Andy Pitt, Executive Chairman of Cross London Trains added: “As the future, long-term owner of the trains, we are delighted to see that the Class 700 has achieved another manufacturing milestone, travelling at 100mph on the test track.”

The Class 700 trains are approximately 25% lighter than previous generations, and are up to 50% more energy efficient. Theyhave been designed to be spacious and airy with the latest passenger information systems and features for people with restricted mobility.

There will be 115 new trains on the expanded Thameslink network, which equates to 1,140 carriages in total, dramatically increasing capacity. Once all the new trains are introduced by 2018, Thameslink trains will flow in and out of central London with tube-like frequency.