Posted 3rd April 2015 | 7 Comments

First new Thameslink trains less than a year away

THE first Siemens Class 700 train for Thameslink is set to enter service in February next year, as production is stepped up at Siemens' Krefeld plant in the German Rhineland. The first example of the new fleet is due to arrive in August.

Tests have been underway for some time at the nearby Wildenrath test cente, where six 12-car sets have been delivered so far. More than 200 bodyshells have already been built, but Siemens said the pace of production will need to be increased to two vehicles a day if the production deadlines are to be met.

Govia Thameslink said work is also well under way at the major Class 700 depot at Three Bridges in Sussex.

The Class 700s are being built in fixed formations of eight and 12 cars, so no intermediate cabs are included in the sets.

It was also revealed at Krefeld that some First Class areas on the new trains will be declassified from time to time, particularly in the ends facing away from London, 'according to market demand'.

The full fleet of 115 trains is due to be in service by the end of 2018.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Melvyn Windebank, Canvey Island, Essex

    New Thameslink class 700 trains are similar to Overground trains and can't be split down into multiples of 4 as they have connecting gangways with provision for drivers at each end.

    The need for eight as well as 12 car trains is to serve stations with shorter platforms as is the case on the Wimbledon loop where extending stations to 12 cars is almost impossible and demand is not there.

    (This restriction also applies to a few local stations between St Albans City and St Pancras International, such as Kentish Town.--Editor)

  • Terry Piper, Altrincham

    I never cease to be frustrated by the thinking of those who think it makes sense to build a fleet with different length trains. History and experience shows that no matter how hard you plan things at some point passengers who travel regularly will find that their normal 12 car train will be an 8 and chaos will follow. As for the 1st class issue, I wonder how many refunds will be handed out before they change their minds.

  • anon, Hampshire

    Lutz, Bombardier have been receiving orders, building and getting into service the late 377s and 387 units in far less time than Siemens have even got the 1st Class 700 out in service.
    So on basis do you make your statement

  • R P Lawrence, Bristol

    Presumably, since the trains will be running across central London, at some point the declassified first class seats at the "country" end will need to be reclassified, and the reverse will have to happen at the other end. Where will this happen? Faringdon? And what will happen to the people sitting in those seats at the time?

  • Jim Campbell, Birmingham

    As Thameslink trains travel through London, which end is to be classed as the end facing away from London.

  • JA, London

    The declassification point is interesting.

    It does seem strange having 2 first class compartments on the 8 carriage trains when they will be used on routes such as the Catford and Sutton Loops and the Tattenham Corner line south of the Thames.

    Currently on the new 387/1 units the first class seats are only in the small section between the doors and the end of the carriage. The majority of the seats behind what I presume was the original first class division are standard seats.

  • Lutz, London

    The proof is in the eating; if Siemens can achieve these milestones, then it will show what a poor job Bombardier is making of it's deliveries.