Posted 15th October 2015 | 5 Comments

Three Bridges depot opens its doors

ONE of two major depots for future Thameslink services has been opened in Sussex by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The depot at Three Bridges, which has created 150 jobs, is planned to be followed by the second new Thameslink depot at Hornsey in July next year.

Three Bridges depot is the result of a £300 million investment by Siemens, the builders of the new Class 700 Thameslink fleet.

The first two Class 700 units have already arrived from Germany at Three Bridges, and many more will now follow over the next few months.

Patrick McLoughlin said: "Our plan for passengers is delivering real improvements for those who use Thameslink services. The opening of this state-of-the-art facility is a major milestone and paves the way for an impressive new fleet of hi-tech trains to come into service from Spring next year. The improvements will transform rail travel for millions of passengers, with better journeys on fantastic new Class 700 trains, improved connections and upgraded stations. The programme is also creating thousands of jobs across the country.”

The trains will be operated for the next few years by Govia Thameslink Railway, which is a transitional franchise running until 2021.

GTR managing director Charles Horton said: "We are thrilled that Siemens have handed us the keys. The new trains they will maintain for us here will transform our passengers’ journeys providing much more space for today’s busy South East commuter services and the latest in accessibility and onboard information.”

Reader Comments:

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

  • Steve, Reigate

    Whilst its nice to have new trains these will transform passengers lives by downgrading the services. How a train can be specified without Wi-Fi is beyond me.
    However, for the bulk of users stuck in them along longer distance routes (Brighton/Cambridge/Peterborough) for journeys in excess of an hour the extra standing room and less seats won't be helpful, nor will the reduced size of the seats (very narrow), lack of armrests, no tables or the reduced leg room.
    How can they specify such units for a long distance route??

  • Paul Wash, London, England

    "Fantastic new class 700's" without sockets or wifi...

  • Chris Neville-Smith, Durham, England

    Network Rail et al are well aware of the capacity constraints on the Brighton Main Line and this is likely to be next on the list. The big constraint now is not lack of platforms at East Croydon but the number of flat crossings at various junctions. Expect the next upgrade to be the upgrading of these junctions to grade-separated ones with flyovers.

    And no, London Bridge is not like Birmingham New Street. The latter largely left the platforms alone (which are near-impossible to improve), and only improved the concourse. The main purpose of London Bridge works, however, is to untangle the mess of tracks in and around the station. Have a look at the train paths before the works and you'll see what the problem is.

  • Derek Rimington, Brighton

    I don not agree that there is any 'farce at London Bridge' as Carl of Galway puts it. Network Rail is doing a splendid job, - yes - another shopping centre, but coupled with the work at Corbett's Lane (no) Junction, the untangling of the route through London Bridge for Thameslink services will mean very real improvements.

  • Carl, Galway, Ireland

    All very well, but with bottlenecks on the Brighton Line especially at East Croydon, you can have all the trains you want, it's not going to help with no infrastructural changes on the Brighton line. East Croydon can't be increased on either side because a road on one side and short-sited by Network Rail a new building on the other side. Coupled with the fact of the farce at London Bridge - yes - another shopping centre with no real change to train services - it's hard to know what the real improvements to the passenger - I'm sorry - customer experience, will be?