Thursday, 10 July 2008

Thameslink fleet

***DfT Press Release***

Bidders announced for new fleet of Thameslink trains

The Department for Transport today announced shortlisted applicants to build an entirely new fleet of trains for Thameslink routes, valued at around £1.4bn. They are:

  • ALSTOM Transport
  • Bombardier Transportation UK Limited
  • Hitachi Europe Limited
  • Siemens Transportation Systems
Bidders will be asked to produce 1,100 new carriages for Thameslink routes which will increase the current fleet size by around 380 carriages. This means that passengers will see around 14,500 extra seats.

The trains will be more energy efficient and lighter in weight than current vehicles to minimise potentially disruptive track maintenance works. Network Rail and Train Operating Companies have been extensively involved in the development of plans for the new fleet, and passenger groups have also been consulted on the design features for the new trains.

Rail Minister Tom Harris said:

"These new lighter, greener trains will benefit passengers on some of the busiest commuter services.

"They are a vital part of our £5.5bn plan to significantly increase capacity on Thameslink routes. When they arrive in 2012, passengers will see peak time trains lengthened from 8 to 12 carriages. By 2015, they will provide 24 services an hour through central London."

Further details on the specification for the new fleet of trains will be included in the Invitation to Tender which is expected to be issued to shortlisted bidders in September this year, with the award of the contract expected in summer 2009.


Notes to Editors

1. The routes which will be operated by Thamelink from 2015 currently use around 720 vehicles, this will increase to 1,100. The fleet incorporates additional capacity as provided by the Rolling Stock Plan announced this January.

2. The new Thameslink trains will operate through the central London core route between St Pancras International and Blackfriars, providing inner and outer urban services to destinations to the north of London on the Midland and East Coast Main Lines and via London Bridge and Elephant and Castle to destinations to the south of London on the Brighton Main Line and other routes in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

3. It is intended that the first train available for testing in autumn 2011, with the first train in passenger service by spring 2012.

4. To make effective use of the new trains the platforms at Blackfriars station will be extended to make it the first station to span the width of the Thames. There will be additional improvements at Farringdon and London Bridge stations to enable the increased services.

5. By December 2015 bottlenecks at London Bridge will be eased to enable 18 Thameslink trains per hour to serve this station. Six more trains per hour running via Elephant & Castle will increase capacity through central London to 24 trains an hour between Blackfriars and St Pancras International. The majority of the 24 trains per hour will be 12 carriages long.