Yesterday (30/06/2017), GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) unveiled the Class 700 Siemens trains it will be operating. There is no doubt about it, this is ‘state of the art’ rolling stock, and they do appear to be more spacious than previous vehicles on the Thameslink route. The Class 365 and 319 trains that have been the operational backbone will presumably now be “put out to grass”??
Given that the whole Thameslink project really started in 1988, and dogged by delays from privatisation, late running and costly projects, and competition from Government funds from the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1), they are to be congratulated on this achievement.
Perhaps ironically too, British Rail envisaged using 12-car trains (the same as the new Class 700) back when the £6 billion “Thameslink 2000” project was begun. It is a mere 16 years late.
The current 68 station line is only 9 more than when the whole thing began, and is around 100 short of the original – albeit ambitious plan for a 169 station route, linking East Coast suburban and suburban lines south of the Thames through re-opened tunnel sections.
You have to admire these trains though: