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Thameslink Class 700 Desiro City unveiling at London Blackfriars station

24 May 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has unveiled the new Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City train at London Blackfriars station coinciding with a 360 degree tour of the new vehicle.

Thameslink Class 700 train

New Thameslink Class 700 Desiro City train at London Blackfriars

The first Class 700 Desiro City train for Thameslink service was unveiled at Blackfriars station on Tuesday 24th May as part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme of infrastructure improvements and new trains to transform north-south travel through London.

New Thameslink trains

Smart signs on new Thameslink trains


80 percent more peak time seats across central 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. The vehicle showcased today can carry up to 1,750 people seated and standing – the equivalent of 21 double-decker buses. The new fleet is due to enter operation on many routes to London from Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Each train features intelligent air conditioning, wide doors and open through-carriages which contributing to greater accessibility and a comfortable passenger experience. Passengers will also notice;

  • Spacious walkways between carriages to make it easier to move through the train to give a greater sense of security,
  • Two-by-two seating to create more room,
  • Lots of luggage space – essential for airport travellers,
  • Electronic signs showing which carriages have more space to sit or stand,
  • Screens with real time service information,
  • Fully accessible toilets for disabled passengers and those with pushchairs or needing baby changing facilities,
  • Spaces for full sized bikes in the off-peak; storage for fold-up bikes in the peak.

Commenting at the unveiling on Tuesday 24 May, Govia Thameslink Railway CEO Charles Horton said: “Not only will many of these trains be longer and more spacious, they’ll be cutting edge with real-time information from around the network and the Tube, and excellent facilities for people with disabilities.

“Not only will many of these trains be longer and more spacious, they’ll be cutting edge with real-time information from around the network and the Tube”

“These trains have been designed to carry up to 1,750 people in climate-controlled comfort, which is essential to meet the huge growth in passenger numbers that have soared 40% in the past decade.

“And their wide doors, open interiors and state-of-the-art real-time passenger information systems will help us run a high frequency, high intensity service with over 80% more seats across the heart of London in 2018.”

Rail Minister Claire Perry added: “This is another significant milestone for the multi-billion pound Thameslink Programme. Projects like this show how our record £40 billion investment in the railways is delivering better journeys for passengers across the South East and beyond.

“This impressive new fleet of hi-tech trains will make a real difference to commuters and leisure travellers, with more space and better information screens. I look forward to seeing the improvements to passengers’ journeys as these trains are introduced to the Thameslink network.”

“We at Siemens are delighted to be showcasing the Class 700 train today”

Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Mainline Transport at Siemens, said: “We at Siemens are delighted to be showcasing the Class 700 train today; it’s yet another example of our innovation and investment in the Thameslink Programme. Today’s event gives commuters the first real insight as to what their future journeys will look like and we are excited at how our innovations in terms of technology and capacity will transform passenger journeys  across the network. Passengers will benefit from easier access made possible through the wider doors and greater space – changes that will make a big difference to everyday travel.”

360 degree tour of new Thameslink Class 700 Desiro City train

Coinciding with the unveiling, a 360 degree tour of the new train has been issued by the Department of Transport via the Roundme app:

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