UK Rail Minister Stephen Hammond has unveiled a full-scale mockup of one of the new fleet of Thameslink trains.
Stakeholders and members of the press were given a first look at the new electric trains during an event at London’s ExCel arena yesterday (January 28).
The first of 1,140 carriages being built by Siemens will go into service in 2016, operating on the existing Thameslink network between Bedford and Brighton and the Wimbledon Loop ahead of the commissioning of new routes in 2017.
The new fleet will eventually provide 80 per cent more peak seating between Blackfriars and St Pancras.
Up to 8,000 jobs are expected to be created throughout the life of the £6.5 billion programme as well as an additional 2,000 jobs in the UK supply chain.
Hammond, said: “We are transforming our railways through the biggest programme of rail investment ever.
“These exciting new trains, combined with the wider Thameslink Programme are a real boost to UK Plc, creating thousands of jobs in construction and across the supply chain, which is driving forward our economy.”
Steve Scrimshaw, managing director of Siemens Rail Systems UK, said: “Over £80 million pounds has been invested by Siemens in the design and development of the Class 700.
“The innovative design incorporates the feedback of UK train operators, train crew, cleaners and maintainers, as well as dedicated passenger research, helping us turn proven technology and expertise into a state-of-the-art train of the future.”