Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Siemens have formally unveiled the first 12-car train of the Class 700 series.
On May 24, 700109 pulled into Blackfriars station to be presented to stakeholders and members of the media.
The first high-capacity Class 700 units, of which there are 15 now in the UK, will begin going into service between Brighton and Bedford in the next few weeks, says GTR.
Built in Germany, Siemens is supplying 115 Class 700 Desiro units – a mixture of eight and 12-car fixed-length trains – to GTR. The full fleet is expected to be in passenger service by the end of 2018.
A signalling first in the UK, the Class 700s will operate using ETCS overlaid with Automatic Train Operation (ATO) in central London through the Thameslink core.
GTR chief executive 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.
“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 per cent 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 per cent more seats across the heart of London in 2018.”