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First Elizabeth Line Train Takes To The Test Track

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  • 200 metre-long air-conditioned trains will transform travel across London
  • Lightweight and energy efficient design means 30 per cent less electricity use
  • First train to enter passenger service May 2017

The first of the new state-of-the-art Elizabeth line trains, which will transform travel across the Capital, was unveiled by Transport for London (TfL) on Friday 29 July as it took to the test track at Bombardier Transportation in Derby.

In total a fleet of 66 new trains will operate on the TfL-run line, serving the West End, City and Docklands and running from Reading and Heathrow in the west across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, through 40 accessible stations.

The new ‘Class 345’ trains will enter service in May 2017 on TfL Rail between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. The first trains will initially be seven carriages and 160 metres long to fit existing platforms at Liverpool Street. The nine carriage, 200 metre-long trains, each are able to carry up to 1,500 people, will be introduced from May 2018, initially between Heathrow and Paddington. All the trains feature walk-through carriages, air conditioning, CCTV for passenger security and real-time travel information. Each one is constructed from lightweight materials and will regenerate electricity back into the power supply when the train brakes, using up to 30 per cent less energy.

When fully open in 2019, the Elizabeth line will increase central London’s rail capacity, carrying over half a million passengers per day, helping TfL to keep pace with London’s growing population, which is set to rise from 8.6 million today to around 10 million by 2030. It will also boost the economy by billions of pounds and support several thousands of new jobs and homes.

Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:  “These state-of-the-art trains will play a key role in London’s future – helping to deliver a modern, world class transport system through the new Elizabeth line and enabling London’s transport network to cope as our population rises.

“Alongside the new and modernised stations they will serve, the new trains will transform travel across London and will make life better for millions of Londoners.”

Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner went to inspect the new train today. He said: “The Elizabeth line trains, which are a great showcase of British design and manufacture, will be running on part of our network within a year. The trains are fully accessible, will have air cooling, and once the whole line opens, they will help our passengers move more easily into and across the city every day.”

Transport Minister, Lord Ahmad, said: “The Elizabeth Line and its new trains are a great example of our commitment to improve passenger journeys by investing in one of the most ambitious infrastructure programmes ever undertaken in the UK. This investment will transform the way people travel across London and beyond. And it doesn’t stop here. The Government is spending record amounts on upgrading the rail network, providing a huge boost to capacity to keep Britain moving, support economic growth and bring our country closer together.”

The new trains are being built and tested at Bombardier Transportation’s UK site, helping to support 760 UK jobs and 80 apprenticeships.

Peter Doolin, Bombardier Transportation’s Vice President Projects, Crossrail & London Underground, said: “Bombardier is delighted to be working with TfL on this flagship project to deliver new the Elizabeth line trains, which are based on our very latest Aventra product family, a new technology leading train for the UK. We look forward to continuing to work together with TfL in manufacturing, testing and introducing these new trains into service in London.”

The first train will now undergo a rigorous testing programme in Derby and from next month at the Old Dalby test centre in Leicestershire. The trains will be extensively tested to ensure they meet TfL’s high safety, performance and reliability requirements.  They will be loaded with over one hundred tonnes of weight to simulate being full of passengers, and testing includes taking a complete carriage to a climatic chamber to ensure passengers will be kept comfortable at the extremes of temperature London can experience.

Once trials are completed, testing equipment will be removed from the first trains and the interiors of the trains will be completed with seats and moquette seat-covers before delivery for passenger service.

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