Govia Thameslink Railway and Siemens have officially launched the Class 700 EMUs for the Thameslink route, the first of which is due to enter service in the next few weeks.
A total of 115 trains are on order to support an enhanced Thameslink service from 2018, when up to 24 trains per hour will be run through the core section between Blackfriars and St Pancras. The 1,140-vehicle fleet comprises 55×12-car and 60×8-car units. The fleet has been financed by Cross London Trains, a consortium of Siemens Project Ventures, Innisfree and 3i Infrastructure, to the tune of £1.6 billion.
The 12-car trains are designed to carry up to 1,750 passengers, which GTR says will help accommodate passenger demand which has risen by 40% in the last 10 years. The ‘700s’ have been designed with wide doors and aisles, through walkways between carriages, luggage and cycle spaces, adaptive climate-controlled air conditioning and fully accessible toilets. The electronic passenger information displays can show train loading information, the locations of toilets and real time service updates on London Underground lines.