Latest Rail News

09.03.18

Final Thameslink Class 700 train rolls off production line

The final Siemens Class 700 Desiro city train rolled off the production line yesterday.

The production of the 115th unit marks a significant milestone in the completion of the government-sponsored Thameslink programme to upgrade the route and add extra capacity through London and across the south east.

This last Class 700, manufactured at the company’s Krefeld factory in Germany, will undergo testing at Siemens’ test centre in Wildenrath before heading to the UK.

Over the past two and a half years, at the peak of the train’s production, Siemens produced two carriages every day, using 80 tonnes of material - a total of 1,140 carriages since production began five years ago.

The train is the first “second generation” fully digital enabled train in passenger service, and is the first mainline train to successfully use Automatic Train Operation and the European Train Control System to increase capacity across London.

June 2016 saw the first Class 700 enter service, and there are currently 68 units in passing service.

Govia Thameslink Railway is due to accept the 100th Class 700 train next week, and is expected to have received the full fleet of 115 trains by summer.

thameslink-class700-2

By the end of 2019, all 115 trains should be in service, travelling in and out of central London every two to three minutes at peak times, providing 80% more peak seats across the capital.

Siemens is responsible for the long term servicing and maintenance of the fleet at its maintenance depots at Three Bridges, East Sussex and Hornsey, London.

Rail minister Jo Johnson said: “The final Thameslink train to roll off the production line is an important milestone, with passengers already experiencing the benefits of these high-capacity, state-of-the-art new trains on the network. 

“The ambitious £7bn Thameslink programme – sponsored by this government – is delivering extensive infrastructure enhancements, new trains and a new timetable to tackle one of the busiest and most congested parts of the rail network. 

“These major improvements will result in faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys for thousands of passengers across London and the south east when the new timetable is introduced in May.”

Govia Thameslink Railway’s engineering director, Gerry McFadden, explained that the trains are “a key part of our RailPlan 20/20 modernisation plans to increase capacity and connectivity on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern – Britain’s most congested railway.

“This incorporates modernised infrastructure, trains and technology and working practices.”

He added: “Recently, we began running a preview of our new cross-London services between Cambridge and Brighton, and Peterborough and Horsham which are due to start in May.

“This landmark moment shows that GTR is delivering on its promise to give passengers a new, high-intensity service to a greatly expanded network of stations.”

Vernon Barker, managing director of rolling stock for the mobility division at Siemens UK, said that the Class 700 is a “train for a digital age,” providing change in passenger experience through data-driven technology.

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