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Thameslink Programme: "A glimpse of the commuting future as new Thameslink train arrives"

"The UK is now home to the first new Siemens-built Class 700 Desiro City train, which is set to transform passenger experience on the Thameslink rail routes when it rolls into action next year.

"Designed to provide much-needed extra capacity on the South East’s busy commuter routes, the train arrived at the newly constructed Three Bridges train care facility near Crawley, West Sussex in the early hours of 31 July 2015.

"Train manufacturer Siemens and operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will now be undertaking an exhaustive testing programme. Passenger services will begin in spring 2016 on the Thameslink network between Bedford and Brighton and later on routes to and from Cambridge and Peterborough, as well as to other destinations in Kent and Sussex.

"The trains feature intelligent air conditioning, wide doors and open through-carriages that contribute to a more accessible and comfortable passenger experience. They will also bring the following benefits to commuters in 2018 in the morning three-hour peak:
  • Over double the number of carriages, providing 80% more peak seats across central London (between Blackfriars and St Pancras)
  • 60% increase in carriages and over 50% more seats from St Albans to London
  • Additional trains from Gatwick Airport with over 50% more running across central London between Blackfriars and St Pancras, with four trains an hour continuing to Peterborough and Cambridge
  • 1,000 extra seats from Brighton
  • 15% more seats from stations along the line from Peterborough and Cambridge.
Rail Minister Claire Perry['s PR chief] said:
"We are investing record amounts building a world-class railway that provides more capacity, more services and better journeys. 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 [2000] Programme, which is creating thousands of jobs across the country and is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. I am looking forward to these spacious new trains being introduced across London and the South East on schedule from Spring next year providing quicker, more reliable and more comfortable journeys for millions of customers."

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