Class 700 Desiro

The first Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City train has arrived at the new Three Bridges traincare facility near Gatwick Airport, UK.

The new train is designed to provide much-needed extra capacity on the south-east’s busy commuter routes.

Siemens and Govia Thamselink Railway (GTR) will now start testing the train to prepare for the fleet’s entry into passenger service initially on the Thameslink network between Bedford and Brighton corridor in early next year.

Following completion of the London Bridge station reconstruction and other track improvement works in 2018, the Thameslink network will be expanded to include Cambridge and Peterborough, as well as other destinations in Kent and Sussex.

"We are investing record amounts building a world-class railway that provides more capacity, more services and better journeys."

The new trains will feature intelligent air-conditioning, wide doors and open through-carriages that contribute to a more accessible and comfortable passenger experience.

UK Rail Minister Claire Perry said: "We are investing record amounts building a world-class railway that provides more capacity, more services and better journeys.

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"The Class 700 trains will transform rail travel for customers and provide a massive jobs boost for Britain and a significant boost to our economy.

"The arrival of this first train is a huge step forward for the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, which is creating thousands of jobs across the country and is a vital part of our long-term economic plan."

In 2018, the new fleet will also more than double the number of carriages, providing 80% more peak seats across central London.

They will also provide 60% increase in carriages and more than 50% additional seats from St Albans to London.

Siemens Thameslink rolling stock project programme director Iain Smith said: "It signifies major progress towards the transformation of the Thameslink services, a step change in the passenger experience and a real sense of the future.

"We will now be focused on testing and commissioning the train, while GTR trains drivers and maintenance staff to ensure that everything is ready for the start of service next year."

Image: Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City inside three bridges traincare facility in the UK. Photo: © Network Rail.