Latest Rail News

02.05.18

Brand-new £200m Class 717s undergo testing ahead of autumn roll-out

A team of around 200 Siemens engineers are currently testing 12 of the newly built Class 717 Desiro City trains as part of a £200m fleet deal to be delivered to the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) later this year.

The programme, which will see services between Hertfordshire and Moorgate, includes preliminary testing phases conducted by Siemens this spring before trains are phased into service from late autumn this year until spring next year.

The 25 six-car trains, financed by Rock Rail Moorgate, will be the first to be introduced in the UK using a new model for financing rolling stock. In an unprecedented move, the trains will be financed through long-term investment from pension and insurance companies.

The testing process will involve testing the trains against a variety of measures, such as putting them in a climatic chamber to evaluate their endurance in extreme weather conditions.

The Siemens-built trains will offer passengers benefits including climate-controlled air-conditioning and advanced information systems providing updates in real time. All carriages are equipped with full wi-fi functionality and power points.

The Class 717s will replace the existing Great Northern fleet of Class 313 trains and will operate on suburban services from Welwyn Garden City, Hertford and Stevenage to and from Moorgate in the City of London.

Gerry McFadden, engineering director at GTR, said: “The Class 717s will transform journeys for passengers on our busy metro services into Moorgate. Easier movement on-board will also help passengers board and alight promptly, helping us keep trains running on time.”

McFadden added that the trains will be maintained at GTR’s Hornsey depot.

Richard Carrington, director of rolling stock projects at Siemens, also commented: “The testing phase marks an important milestone in plans to introduce this new fleet of advanced trains for Great Northern services. 

“It is crucial that the trains are put through this testing to ensure they’re fit to meet this purpose and allow passengers to enjoy the full benefits of these new and modern carriages.” 

 

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