First Class 700 Desiro City train arrives in UK for Thameslink services
31 July 2015 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
The first new Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City train arrived in the UK for Thameslink passenger services beginning spring 2016.
Delivery of this first train is part of the Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme of infrastructure improvements and new trains to transform north-south travel through London.
The fleet consisting of an additional 1,140 rail carriages will increase capacity on the busy south east commuter routes and provide 80 percent more peak time seats across central London. Passenger services are scheduled to begin in 2016 on Thameslink services between Bedford and Brighton followed by Cambridge and Peterborough and other destinations in Kent and East Sussex.
The newly arrived Class 700 Desiro City train will now undergo tests by Siemens and operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) at the recently constructed Three Bridges train care facility near Crawley, West Sussex.
UK Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “We are investing record amounts building a world-class railway that provides more capacity, more services and better journeys. The Class 700 trains will transform rail travel for customers and provide a massive jobs boost for Britain and a significant boost to our economy. The arrival of this first train is a huge step forward for the Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, which is creating thousands of jobs across the country and is a vital part of our longterm economic plan. I am looking forward to these spacious new trains being introduced across London and the South East on schedule from spring next year providing quicker, more reliable and more comfortable journeys for millions of customers.”
CEO of Siemens Mobility Division, Jochen Eickholt, added: “The arrival of the first train into our new Three Bridges depot is a real milestone for us at Siemens. Building the Class 700 Desiro City trains is, and continues to be, one of the most important projects at Siemens. The arrival of this first train signifies major progress in the project, and we are looking forward to the start of service next year.”
Each train features intelligent air conditioning, wide doors and open through-carriages which contributing to greater accessibility and a comfortable passenger experience.
In welcoming the new trains, GTR’s Programme Director Keith Wallace said: “The new Class 700 trains will bring many changes and benefits to our passengers – from more frequent services on longer trains, to greater capacity, easier access, better on-board information, and an altogether better train environment. We’re looking forward to our passengers seeing them in service next spring.”
Andy Pitt, Executive Chairman of train owners Cross London Trains (XLT) said: “I am delighted to see the first Class 700 train arriving in the UK in what is another significant project milestone. The next few months will see a series of tests completed before the train takes its first outing in passenger service on the UK rail network – another step forward in ensuring the train is completely ready for passengers.”
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