TfL on new Elizabeth Line train delay: roll-out ‘all about confidence’

The roll-out of TfL’s new Elizabeth Line trains were delayed earlier this year to ensure they would not experience any problems when they entered service in order to maintain the confidence of the public, staff and TOCs, RTM was told today.  

The new trains were due to begin running on tracks at the end of May, but this date was pushed back a month to the end of June, with TfL confirming that “thorough testing, assurance and approvals” needed to be made before the trains entered service.

Speaking exclusively to RTM, TfL’s senior project manager for rolling stock, David Sherrin, confirmed that the rest of the project was still on track to be completed on time, and that the delay was necessary to ensure confidence in the new rolling stock was properly maintained.

“Stage 1 is really important in terms of making sure we get the trains reliable and understood,” he explained. “Crossrail has a staged build-up of services, and the whole idea behind that is to progressively introduce services so we can make sure we keep them reliable, so overnight we don’t suddenly have 65 trains trying to run Crossrail.

“Stage 1 has always been about getting the first trains into service and building up in a reliable way. It was really important that we got off on the right step.

“If we had pushed a new train into service when we said we would, that would have undermined people’s confidence in the new rolling stock.”

Sherrin went on to argue that introducing new trains is all about confidence: “confidence with our passengers, confidence with our traincrew and confidence with the operators”.

“It was really important that we held back for a couple of weeks just to make sure we had settled the units down and that they were going to work,” he noted.

The TfL project manager also revealed that the trains have been operating without any major disruptions so far, with passengers and staff currently very happy with the new trains.

“But the important thing is that trains used in Stage 1 build the confidence, so it’s one aspect of the overall system to worry about when the new trains come in,” he concluded.

Our full interview with Sherrin will appear in the upcoming August/September issue of RTM, set to hit desks on 6 September. Subscribe to receive a free copy here.

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Andrew Gwilt   14/08/2017 at 23:59

Next year will also see the new Class 710 Aventra trains that will be rolled out for London Overground that will operate on some lines that London Overground previously took over including: Lea Valley metro: London Liverpool Street-Cheshunt & Enfield Town via Seven Sisters services and London Liverpool Street-Chingford via Clapton service (replacing the Class 315's and Class 317's). Romford-Upminster shuttle service (replacing the Class 315 & Class 317 EMU's). Gospel Oak-Barking line service (once the electrification is completed) (and to replace the Class 172's that London Overground could use some of the Class 172's on the West Ealing-Greenford service) and the extension to Barking Riverside. London Euston-Watford Junction DC service (cascading the Class 378/2's to operate on East London Line services).

James Palma   15/08/2017 at 19:41

Hang on peeps. Why aren't RMT striking about Crossrail trains being driver only???? Is it because they have no staff to brainwash?

Wayne Tassie   16/08/2017 at 15:12

'The new trains were due to begin running on tracks at the end of May, but this date was pushed back a month to the end of June, with TfL confirming that “thorough testing, assurance and approvals” needed to be made before the trains entered service.' What rubbish. From someone that lives on the Shenfield route, it seems far more likely that they have not introduced the trains as none of the platform extensions have been completed. Nor any of the upgrades and improvements that are supposedly happening at many of the stations.

Melvyn   19/09/2017 at 19:38

I used TFL Rail yesterday and I saw 3 different new trains including the one I returned to Liverpool Street from Romford on and so it seems fleet as opposed to just the odd one train is starting to occur. Of course there may have been more in service or undergoing test / driver training runs . The much wider walk through carriages makes it possible to walk thrthe train to find one of the bay seats similar to those found on Metropolitan Line S8 trains . @ W.T The new trains are only 7 carriages long and thus of similar length to old 315 trains as they are restricted to limited platforms at Liverpool Street Station . The platform extensions will in due course allow full length 9 carriage trains ! However, the first 9 carriage trains will appear when TFL Rail assumes Paddington Station to Heathrow Connect Services next May . One thing I noticed yesterday was my return to Liverpool Street Station was nearer to the DLR tracks on the opposite side of the entrance to the future Crossrail entrance tunnels . While it looks like track is being laid on the surface above the tunnels below .

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