The first brand new Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City train arrived in the United Kingdom (UK). The trains 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. Passenger service 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.
“The arrival of the first train into our new Three Bridges depot is a real milestone for us at Siemens. 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.
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.
“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”, said GTR’s Programme Director Keith Wallace.