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GTR completes rolling stock upgrade on Thameslink route

Thameslink passengers will from today enjoy solely new trains on routes, as Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) completed the replacement of its old fleet with new Siemens Class 700 rolling stock.

People travelling between London Bridge, Gatwick Airport and Brighton can now enjoy brand new trains offering more space and considerably better capacity.

The 12-carriage trains replace mostly four-carriage (weekday) and eight-carriage (Saturdays) twice-hourly services, meaning there are now 9,000 more seats every weekday.

More 12-carriage trains will be introduced early next year as additional stabling facilities are built in Bedford. Now, Thameslink has 50% more carriages in service in the peak on the route than before the new trains were introduced.

“Thameslink is now a Class 700-only route marking a significant milestone in our journey of modernisation towards a new high-frequency service through central London,” said GTR engineering director Gerry McFadden.

“Right now, it means trains up to three times longer on the off-peak services between Brighton, Gatwick Airport and London Bridge and from May next year hundreds of thousands of new passengers from east Kent, Sussex, Cambridge and Peterborough will be plugged into the cross-London route when the Thameslink network expands.”

The new Class 700s boast a number of features to improve the passenger experience on Thameslink services. They have wider doors and aisles to make getting on and off easier, spacious walkways between carriages, two-by-two seating and adaptive climate-controlled air conditioning.

Electronic signs showing which carriages have more space to sit or stand also feature, as well as screens with real-time service information for the London Underground.

Paul Maynard, the rail minister, added: “I am delighted we have reached this significant milestone for the multi-billion pound Thameslink Programme.

“It shows how our investment in the railways is delivering better journeys for passengers across the network, as well as supporting jobs and growth.

“This new fleet of hi-tech trains is now making a real difference for passengers, giving them more space and more comfort,” he continued.

“This investment will transform north-south travel across London and the south east by a providing a modern, accessible service in time for the expanded Thameslink network from 2018.”

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Huguenot   18/09/2017 at 18:16

More seats? Yes, with the longer trains. More room? For standing passengers only. The seats have no gaps between them so you won't want to sit next to a large person, and no armrests as the 37Xs had. Don't try taking a journey from Bedford to Brighton on a Class 700 -- you'll ache in every muscle! However, I am impressed with the acceleration (but not the deceleration as drivers approach stations too cautiously even in dry weather) and the good speed of door-opening and closing.

Andrew Gwilt   18/09/2017 at 18:51

So the rest of the 12-Car (x55) Class 700's have been delivered and is now completed whilst more 8-Car (x60) Class 700's are yet to be delivered which could be completed after Christmas. I think that Siemens and GTR have got a good relationship with each other and to maintain these Class 700's fleets for at least 30-40 years.

Andrew Gwilt   18/09/2017 at 18:57

Plus Great Northern will soon use the Class 700's to replace the Class 365's.

David   18/09/2017 at 19:41

Only 21 Class 365s are being replaced. And I sure do hope they have a "good relationship" when the full 24tph is rolled out.

Andrew JG   19/09/2017 at 04:50

So only 21 Class 365's will be replaced by the Class 700's. And the rest will stay. Where will the 21 Class 365's go to. Unless they are to be scrapped because they are getting old.

Turbostar   19/09/2017 at 10:30

Is the Thameslink project on schedule to allow Thameslink services through London Bridge to resume in January 2018 as projected?

Merseyferry   19/09/2017 at 12:51

The 21 surplus Class 365's are going to LMR and are not being scrapped.

Andrew Gwilt   20/09/2017 at 01:14

Sounds good that 21 Class 365's are heading to London Midland. Possibly to work on the electrified Chase Line between Birmingham New Street-Walsall-Rugley Trent Valley once the Chase Line electrification is completed. And possibly London Midland might use 1 Class 365 train on the Watford Junction-St. Albans Abbey branch line.

Jak Jaye   20/09/2017 at 09:25

Possibly the most rancid EMU ever built,ugly as what,rock hard seats,why not purchase updated ElectroStars? far mor comfortable and with seperate coaches a modicum of privacy instead of the constand drone of mobile phones and people rushing up and down the open plan coaches. Mind you if you want to sit in an even more uncomfortable unit check out the CrossRail ones!

Matthew Read   21/09/2017 at 11:09

Never knew the 365's were going to West Midlands Trains they haven't said.

Andrew JG   21/09/2017 at 12:06

Well Ive heard rumours that Great Northern will be releasing 21 Class 365's that will be transferred to London Midland (West Midlands Trains from December). Whilst the rest will stay with Great Northern. From Wikipedia-In March 2015, it was confirmed that the remaining 21 Class 365s, would be cascaded to Great Western Railway once released from Great Northern services, to operate newly electrified services in the Thames Valley. However, in June 2016, GWR ordered additional Electrostar units for these services, so the Class 365s will not be transferred.

Andrew JG   21/09/2017 at 12:09

Which doesn't mention about the 21 Class 365's to be transferred to WM Trains until the start of the new franchise in December.

Henry Law   11/10/2017 at 20:54

The new trains are dire.

Tim   28/11/2017 at 11:50

The class 700 rolling stock trains say something quite depressing about govt procurement / priorities. Yes, you can pack more people on them but they are uncomfortable and it is a nightmare to do any work as you balance your laptop and coffee on your legs.

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