Latest Rail News

15.10.15

McLoughlin opens Three Bridges depot following Class 700 arrival

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has formally opened the hi-tech Three Bridges traincare facility in Crawley, West Sussex, one of the two new depots where Siemens will maintain its Class 700 Desiro City fleet.

The depot will play a major role in housing and maintaining the 1,140-carriage fleet for the expanded Thameslink network.

When complete in 2018, the network will operate from Bedford, Cambridge and Peterborough to Brighton, Horsham, Gatwick, Maidstone and Sevenoaks.

McLoughlin said: “Our plan for passengers is delivering real improvements for those who use Thameslink services.

“The opening of this state-of-the-art facility is a major milestone and paves the way for an impressive new fleet of hi-tech trains to come into service from spring next year.

“The improvements will transform rail travel for millions of passengers, with better journeys on fantastic new Class 700 trains, improved connections and upgraded stations.”

Three Bridges 3 c. Department for Transport

While most of the fleet’s components are being manufactured by UK suppliers, the trains themselves are being built in Krefeld, Germany.

RTM has reported on the new depot extensively, including a major milestone in April when Siemens completed work on seven of the 12-car trains, as well as one reduced-length eight-car train. At the time, more than 230 bodyshells had been manufactured under the £1.6bn contract.

More recently, the first train of the Thameslink fleet arrived in the depot for testing. Siemens and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) were set to undertake an ‘exhaustive testing programme’ ahead of services starting next year.

Three Bridges 2 c. Department for Transport

The fleet will feature air conditioning, wide doors and open through-carriages that contribute to a more comfortable and accessible travelling experience.

The Thameslink programme of infrastructure improvements is expected to transform north-south travel, reduce crowding and improve reliability. Combined with the redevelopment of London Bridge and a better signalling system (ATO over ETCS, with traffic management), the new trains will allow GTR to run 24 trains per hour through the Thameslink core in central London.

As McLoughlin visited the depot today (October 15), the government also published the terms of reference of the London-South Coast Rail Corridor Study, which will consider options for increasing capacity and alleviating pressure on the Brighton Main Line, on which Thameslink services will operate.

Comments

Thomas F.   16/10/2015 at 12:11

I wonder what exactly it might mean to 'consider options for increasing capacity and alleviating pressure on the Brighton Main Line'. Four-tracking the whole thing would be the right thing to do, but this has been considered & discounted so many times in the past due to Topographical difficulties - Ouse Valley Viaduct & Balcombe Tunnel being the big ticket items. Diversionary routes are too long - there's only one, via Pullborough/Horsham, but it's too long. There's a lot of work starting to upgrade the Uckfield line, but this involves neither electrification nor reinstatement to Lewes, both prohibitive on cost-benefit grounds. So, four-tracking the Victoria to Brighton line is really the only way to go. That's Stage Gate 1 & 2 passed already!

Andrew Gwilt   16/10/2015 at 22:05

Next is Hornsey depot in North London to open next year with the arrival of the Class 700 EMU rolling stocks and by spring these new trains will start operating passenger services on the Thameslink route with most of the Class 319's cascaded to Northern Rail and some to London Midland once the Class 700/1 12-car and Class 700/2 8-car trains are delivered and are in service.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

NR recovery operation after Ely derailment set to cause more disruption

16/08/2017NR recovery operation after Ely derailment set to cause more disruption

Network Rail has today been working to lift a derailed train off the track in Ely, which has been causing serious disruption over the last few da... more >
Atkins awarded £29m deal for innovative Anglia re-signalling programme

16/08/2017Atkins awarded £29m deal for innovative Anglia re-signalling programme

Network Rail today announced that Atkins has been awarded a £29m contract for re-signalling of the Norwich-Yarmouth-Lowestoft route. T... more >
Thieves make off with £90,000 of copper wire from railway in Staffordshire

16/08/2017Thieves make off with £90,000 of copper wire from railway in Staffordshire

Thieves have stolen more than £90,000 worth of copper wire from the railway over the past six weeks in Staffordshire, Network Rail has toda... more >

editor's comment

03/07/2017Rapid progress needed

As RTM went to press, the National Infrastructure Commission outlined a list of the ‘top 12’ immediate priorities on which ministers must make rapid progress in the next year. Unsurprisingly, major rail schemes, including HS2, Crossrail 2 and HS3, featured highly in the projects that needed speedy development.  Lord Adonis stated that all of these have been agreed in principle, “but require decisive action to get ... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

A game changer for Wales and Borders

17/07/2017A game changer for Wales and Borders

Andy Thomas, managing director for Network Rail’s Wales route, describes how the infrastructure owner will work more collaboratively than e... more >
‘In the rail business, we’re leading the way’

13/07/2017‘In the rail business, we’re leading the way’

Andy Milner, the chief executive of Amey, tells RTM about the transformation programme that has been taking place in the company since his takeov... more >
Expanding an unprecedented level of style and comfort

13/07/2017Expanding an unprecedented level of style and comfort

At the end of May, Eurostar introduced its new e320 train on the London-Brussels route. Rob Haycocks talks to RTM about what passengers can expec... more >

last word

How do tram and rail passengers compare?

How do tram and rail passengers compare?

David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, analyses the drivers in performance of passenger satisfaction in tram compared to rail. Resul... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

UKRIA: Time to shine with your mobile tech innovations

15/08/2017UKRIA: Time to shine with your mobile tech innovations

Using innovative mobile technology to improve the passenger experience on trains and make the railway run more efficiently is increasingly import... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

How can the new government support rail freight?

20/07/2017How can the new government support rail freight?

Following the recent general election, Maggie Simpson, executive director at the Rail Freight Group, considers what action the government can tak... more >
Building a sustainable future for rail services in Wales

20/07/2017Building a sustainable future for rail services in Wales

Geoff Ogden, interim managing director at Transport for Wales (TfW), talks to RTM about how the organisation is putting sustainable development a... more >
A potential benchmark for engineering quality and architectural design

20/07/2017A potential benchmark for engineering quality and architectural design

Victoria Hills, chief executive officer at the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), gives RTM an update on the work to create a... more >
Simple changes for energy efficiency

20/07/2017Simple changes for energy efficiency

Michelle Papayannakos, rail sustainability specialist at the RSSB, argues that improving the way energy is managed should be a high priority for ... more >