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Siemens starts UK component production for Thameslink trains

Production of high-tech electrical components and assemblies for the new fleet of Thameslink Class 700 trains is underway at the Siemens factory in Hebburn.

The first components to be manufactured at the South Tyneside facility will be cable harnesses, followed by drivers’ instruments and control desks, electrical cabinets, ceiling containers and coupler boxes.

The manufacture of the 1,140 new Class 700 train carriages, which will be introduced across London and the South East by 2018 under the £1.6bn rolling stock contract, is being carried out by Siemens in Germany, but the work in the north east of England will create 300 jobs across the region over the next four years.

Transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “The start of production at Hebburn is great news for the region, as well as being a major milestone in the Thameslink project, which is generating more than 8,000 jobs nationwide and will transform travel through central London when it completes in 2018.”

Iain Smith, Thameslink programme director for Siemens Rail Systems, added that the work at Hebburn will complement the work of a wide range of UK and European suppliers involved in the project.

Siemens Baroness Kramer

“These trains will play a crucial role in modernising our transport network. The Class 700 Desiro City trains have been designed with British commuters in mind and will improve reliability, energy efficiency, passenger access and comfort. We believe this will change commuting for the better,” he added.

In addition to the new rolling stock, the Thameslink Programme will also see major track and station improvements – including the rebuilding of London Bridge – to provide passengers with better connections and a greater choice of destinations. When the project completes in 2018, 24 trains an hour will run in each direction at peak times through central London, providing a high-frequency, metro-style service to increasing numbers of passengers.

The service will be operated by the TSGN franchisee Govia, who were recently awarded the contract by the Department for Transport.

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