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Crossrail unveils first images of Bombardier’s Aventra train design

Crossrail has unveiled the Aventra design of its 66 trains currently being built at Bombardier’s Derby manufacturing plant.

They are being built using strong but lightweight materials, including a bodyshell of aluminium – a test carriage was already built and is being used to refine the design and manufacturing techniques needed for the 594-carriage order.

At more than 200m in length, the trains are over one and a half times longer than the longest Tube train.

Peter Doolin, Bombardier Transportation’s vice president of projects, Crossrail & London Underground, said: “The new Crossrail trains are based on our very latest product platform, which has proudly been designed and developed as a technology-leading train for the UK.

“We look forward to continuing to work together with Transport for London (TfL) on this flagship project to deliver these new trains for London.”

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Inside, the trains will boast a combination of metro-style and bay seating, as well as intelligent lighting and temperature control systems to regenerate electricity back into the power supply when braking. They are expected to use up to 30% less energy than current trains.

According to TfL, the interior design and colour palette were carefully chosen to create a more accessible and welcoming environment. This includes darker floors and natural finish materials intended to ‘wear in’ rather than wear out, ensuring they retain their quality over the years.

Ceilings will be slathered in a light colour to maximise the feeling of height and openness inside the carriages, as well as to match with Crossrail stations for a more consistent customer experience.

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TfL and Bombardier have worked on the train designs, with Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby acting as design advisors. They were appointed as partners for the fleet in July 2014.

The advisors said: “This is an exciting civic project and a key component of London’s transportation future of the next 100 years. We are honoured to be making a contribution to its design and look forward to its inaugural journey.”

Each train will boast nine fully-interconnected, walk-through carriages with capacity for 1,500 customers, although the first trains to operate on the Liverpool Street to Shenfield leg of the route from May 2017 will initially use shorter seven-carriage versions.

All subsequent trains will be the full-length version, to be first introduced between Heathrow and Paddington from May 2018 and fully converted by the end of 2019.

Large areas around the three wide doorways will allow for quicker boarding and alighting, and trains will feature four dedicated wheelchair spaces and a number of multi-use spaces where seating can be tipped up to accommodate luggage or prams.

To match this, all platforms and trains across the network will be fully accessible with step-free entrances and manual boarding ramps where level boarding is not possible.

The fleet will be driver-operated and include on-train customer information systems delivering real-time travel information to facilitate journey planning whilst on-board.

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The order is also being supported by Garrandale, which is supplying the front ends of the 66 trains as well as all the assembly and production line equipment that Bombardier will use to build the rest of the trains.

And Balfour Beatty will create a production, testing and office facility for the new trains on behalf of Bombardier as part of a £12.5m contract.

The company will also provide specialist train-washing equipment for the new train maintenance depot being built at Old Oak Common.

All trains will undergo a rigorous testing regime, including in a dedicated test track at Old Dalby (Melton Mowbray), before being delivered to the capital.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “It’s fantastic to think that these sleek new trains will soon be transporting millions of people across our great city and beyond. They’re feature packed, eye-catching machines that showcase the best of British design and engineering.

“They’ll add vital capacity to our rail network and will help ensure our economy continues its onward journey full-steam ahead. The largest construction project in Europe is another tantalising step closer to becoming a brand new working railway for the capital.”

The Crossrail train design was launched during TfL and the London Transport Museum’s 18-month ‘Transported by Design’ programme, which includes a host of exhibitions and competitions that celebrate the role of good design on the capital’s transport network.

As part of the celebrations, industry experts and the museum launched a London-wide survey last month that revealed the Tube’s new S Stock was one of the top 10 transport icons in the capital.


Andrew Gwilt   20/11/2015 at 11:34

The new design and concept of the brand new Crossrail Class 345 Aventra trains looks very nice and very modern. But what about the Class 710 London Overground Aventra trains. Will the London Overground Class 710 Aventra trains will be the same design as the Crossrail Class 345 Aventra trains or will it be completely different even though the Class 345's are 9 carriages in length (with a possible 10th carriage may be added if necessary) and Class 710's are 4 carriages in length (with a possible 5th carriage may be added if necessary).

Tom   20/11/2015 at 14:15

They will, like the Electrostars, all effectively based on the same platform, with minor changes to suit customer needs and progress with technology, until the need for a new platform arises.

Tom   20/11/2015 at 14:26

They will, like the Electrostars, all effectively based on the same platform, with minor changes to suit customer needs and progress with technology, until the need for a new platform arises.

Jono   21/11/2015 at 18:34

The front cab looks terrible!! Come on Bombardier! Take a look at the competition; Alstom's AGV, Siemens desiro city, and Hitachi's AT200 (it still looks good even with the gangway doors!!). I hope it improves by the final design.

Nick Biskinis   21/11/2015 at 23:12

The Aventra look was partly derived from the Bombardier Spacium train for Paris - though the Spacium externally is more refined and better looking. Nonetheless, Aventra is a worthy successor to the landmark Electrostar train - a very hard act to follow

Jack   06/02/2016 at 16:56

Haven't crossrail learnt from the bombardier mishaps with most if not all sub surface routes

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