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GTR orders new fleet of Siemens Class 700 variants for Great Northern

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has chosen Siemens to provide a new £200m fleet of modern air-conditioned carriages for Great Northern suburban services to and from Moorgate.

Siemens will produce 25 six-car units (150 vehicles total) of a variant of the Class 700 Desiro City train currently being built for the Thameslink routes.

The fleet will replace 40-year-old Class 313 trains by the end of 2018 on routes to and from Welwyn and Hertford, Stevenage and Letchworth.


GTR’s fleet director, Gerry McFadden, said: “Coupled with the seven-day-a-week service to Moorgate that we started this month, these new trains will give our passengers a superior, modern comfortable journey with more capacity, improved reliability, air conditioning and passenger information systems that can be remotely updated to provide real-time information.

“This is just one of four new train fleets we’re bringing in, introducing almost 1,400 new train carriages to the network, and we’re delighted to be appointing Siemens as our preferred bidder.”

Features requested as a result of consultations with businesses and passenger groups include a fixed length with full-width inter-vehicle gangways to create more space for passengers on board, with no intermediate cabs.

As well as air-conditioning, the trains will have the latest passenger information systems with real-time displays, be fully accessible and compliant with disability legislation, and boast power points throughout.

Class700 head on

To fund the massive order, worth over £200m, GTR will run a financial competition.

According to the CEO of Siemens’ Mobility Division, Dr Jochen Eickholt, the contract will be finalised next year.

Separately, GTR’s Class 700 fleet, also built by Siemens for the Thameslink programme, has recently performed its first test run on the mainline between the operator’s depot at Three Bridges and Brighton.


Kev Smith   22/12/2015 at 17:48

if the design is proven then is a superb decision by Govia, 313 is now design end of life, they have worked hard on the Great Northern, the watford new lines and now on the coastway, i hope the 313 fleet finds other uses before their culling starts in earnest..regardless of what people say they have proven themselves since 76 !!

Jerry Alderson   22/12/2015 at 19:02

It's good to hear that these new Class 700 variants will have power points throughout, but there's no mention of Wi-Fi. It's ironic that short-distance services get powerpoints when longer ones (e.g. to Peterborough and Cambridge), where your smartphone, tablet or laptop is more likely to have a low battery, do not. Campaigners such as Railfuture have been lobbying the DfT and FCC now GTR for both wi-fi and power-points on all Class 700, especially those going to the hi-tech hub of Cambridge and the surrounding area. Apparently the DfT are unwilling to change their mind even though few of the trains have been built yet.

Andrew Gwilt   23/12/2015 at 01:23

So Siemens are also to build 25 new 6-Car Desiro City trains which will be numbered as Class 700/2 (700201-700225) for Great Northern.

Mack   23/12/2015 at 07:57

Why on earth do people automatically think they will be class 700s? Could be 707/1 as they are actually closer to the GN order than the Thameslink. As for the 700s and WiFi, it's been 8 years since the 700 bids were put in hence the has changed since. It's not just a few thathave been built but something like 15 trains. No-one wants to pay to put the wiring in as it means gutting the first units and installing miles of cable. This in turn increases weight which is something the DfT doesn't want to keep track damage down.

Andrew Gwilt   28/12/2015 at 10:08

It might be numbered and classified either Class 700/2 or Class 701. Plus these new trains will be 6 carriages in length and will replace the Class 313's as Great Northern are to order new trains as well getting Class 377/2 & Class 377/5 trains from Thameslink/Southern to replace the Class 317's, Class 321's and Class 365's and Thameslink are to operate to King's Linn, Peterborough and Cambridge from 2018.

James Miller   08/01/2016 at 12:34

The Class 313 trains are rather an oddity, due to the nature of the route. I suspect that the route would be ideal for an IPEMU, which would put the pan down at Finsbury or Drayton Park and do the short trip into Moorgate and back on the batteries. The tunnel could have the electrification removed for safety reasons and reduced maintenance costs.

Davidb_   09/01/2016 at 13:19

Andrew, stop trying to second-guess the TOPS allocations. And how many times do I have to remind you that, aside from the Desiro City orders, Great Northern will be keeping no more than 19 Class 377/5s and 19 Class 365s. James, the Northern City is essentially a London Underground line that has been adapted for mainline trains. Don't see why you suggest the added complication of battery stock when the current system works well.

Andrew Gwilt   15/01/2016 at 01:24

@Davidb_ David it sounds like you dont like me at all on what I say. And there for I will keep on pestering you if you dont like it or not. IDIOT!

Andrew Gwilt   15/01/2016 at 01:25

If only you would leave me the HELL ALONE OK DAVIDB.

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