Rolling stock

26.03.19

GTR replaces UK’s oldest electric fleet with new £240m Class 717 trains

A new £240m fleet of Class 717 trains has been entered into service by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to replace the UK’s oldest electric rail fleet.

GTR has deployed the first two of its new Class 717 rolling stock from Siemens, with a total of 25 of the new six-carriage trains due to run on the Great Northern routes by late summer.

The routes between Moorgate and Hertfordshire and to and from Stevenage, Hertford North, and Welwyn Garden City have until now used Class 313 trains which first entered service in 1976.

The Class 717s are designed to accommodate new signalling systems and were due to be launched in January but this was delayed as signals at some stations could not be clearly seen from the driver’s seat.

GTR, which was recently fined £5m by the ORR for its communication in the May 2018 timetable chaos, said a second member of staff will travel in the cab to view signals as a temporary measure until the signals are re-positioned by Network Rail.

The train operator said the old “cramped and outdated” trains, which are mainland Britain’s oldest electric trains, have travelled 3 million miles since they were first introduced, and have carried over 460 million passengers.

Old and new at Hornsey depot

The new 100mph trains will see an 11% increase in capacity for each journey (100 people) and bring new features such as interconnected carriages like a bendy bus, the latest accessibility features, and a brand new ‘snow mode.’

Gerry McFadden, GTR’s engineering director said: “We are transforming our passengers’ journeys by replacing their cramped, outdated 40-year-old trains, which are the oldest electrical units in mainland Britain, with fully-accessible, spacious, modern air-conditioned units with the latest in passenger information, onboard WiFi and power points at every pair of seats.”

Interior of new Moorgate train 25.03.19

The trains were financed by Rock Rail Moorgate, a joint venture between Aberdeen Standards Investment and Rock Rail, to be leased to GTR.

Rock Rail’s CEO, Mark Swindell, said it was proud to be working to drive better value for the UK taxpayer and the government with a fleet financed with direct long-term investment from pension and insurance companies for the first time.

Rail minister Andrew Jones commented: “The arrival of the brand-new Class 717 fleet, replacing some of the UK’s oldest trains and delivering more seats and space, complete with WiFi and air-conditioning, is fantastic news for passengers.

“With the number of journeys on our railways having more than doubled in the past 20 years, we are focused on introducing new trains right across the UK, delivering significant improvements in performance, punctuality and capacity.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

16/08/2019North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

Key leaders from across the North of England have called for Government commitment to a ‘Northern Budget’ which could be used to deli... more >
Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

16/08/2019Metrolink customers complete 170k trips using contactless system

Since its launch four weeks ago, more than 170,000 journeys have been made using the new contactless payment system on the Metrolink network... more >
Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

15/08/2019Government announces £25m Brexit high-speed medicines train

In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the Government has announced the setting up of a high-speed train service to ferry medicine to the UK from Fran... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >