London mayor Boris Johnson has launched the new £1.6m integration test facility for the new fleet of Crossrail trains at Bombardier factory in Derby, UK.

Dubbed ‘Iron Bird’, the new facility will allow Bombardier to manufacture the next generation of rolling stock with safer, more reliable and enhanced performance.

Earlier this year, the Transport for London (TfL) and the UK Department for Transport (DfT) selected Bombardier Transportation for the £1bn contract to deliver 65 new Aventra trains, along with maintenance services and construction of a depot at Old Oak Common.

"This wonderful testing facility will ensure passengers can enjoy the highest possible standards on Crossrail trains."

The new trains are being built for DfT-run rail line and it will serve 40 stations connecting central London with Reading and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This wonderful testing facility will ensure passengers can enjoy the highest possible standards on Crossrail trains.

"A significant portion of the rolling stock on UK’s rail network is UK-built Bombardier stock."

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By GlobalData

The entire fleet is expected to start services through Crossrail’s central section in December 2018.

In addition to the 65 trains, Bombardier is currently working on a fleet of 191 new S Stock Tube trains for the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, along with 57 additional rail cars for London Overground network.

Meanwhile, the company is also investing £12.5m to build a purpose-built test facility in Derby and a maintenance depot at Old Oak Common.

Image: Bombardier Aventra train for Crossrail. Photo: courtesy of Bombardier.