TFL have just issued a press release regarding the new London Overground services getting the new Class 378 Capitalstar trains.
Thousands of customers on London Overground routes in East and North East London will travel on new air-conditioned trains from 2018, after TfL today announced that a contract with a capital value of around £260m will be awarded to Bombardier Transportation to build a new fleet of trains.
The 45 new trains will operate on the Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford routes, which became part of the TfL network in May, as well as on the routes between Barking and Gospel Oak and between Romford and Upminster.
New trains will transform service
The new trains will transform the service experienced by customers on these routes, and will have similar features to the fleet that serves other parts of the London Overground network, including walk-through carriages, air-conditioning and improved accessibility. TfL's 24 stations on the West Anglia routes are now, as with the rest of London Overground, staffed at all times and are undergoing an extensive programme of cleaning and other improvements to bring the service up to the high standards experienced elsewhere on the network.
The contract, which is subject to a statutory ten day standstill period, will see the trains built in Derby - supporting hundreds of jobs in the area and more than 20 apprenticeships. TfL's wider supply chain supports some 60,000 jobs outside the Capital.
They have also commented on the poor condition of the existing trains on the new London Overground services.
The trains that TfL inherited on the Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford route are more than 30 years old and are not in good condition. The condition of the trains has been causing some delays, so until the new trains arrive TfL is refreshing the existing fleet as well as investing an additional £2million to modify the trains to make them more reliable - including replacing any defective doors and deploying additional engineers to ensure repairs are carried out quickly and efficiently.
What are TFL aims? (from the notes section)
· The contract is for 45 trains to be introduced from 2018;
· 31 new trains to replace all the old Class 315 and Class 317 trains on the Overground West Anglia and Romford to Upminster routes;
· 8 new four-carriage trains for the electrification of the existing Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking;
· 6 new trains to bolster services on other Overground routes
· The contract also gives TfL options for more trains to meet future demand and provide potential frequency improvements. The contract between TfL and Bombardier covers the manufacture and maintenance of a new fleet
· The Gospel Oak to Barking route, which is already part of London Overground, is being electrified by Network Rail and due to be completed in 2017. The new four carriage electric trains will run on the route after electrification has been completed, replacing all of the two-carriage Class 172 diesel trains, and will provide improved journey times and more capacity.
So for Railway enthusiasts, the time is ticking for you to get photos of Class 172, 315 and 317 trains before they vanish from TFL railway services completely.
You can view my High Definition video footage of the Class 317 train on the London Overground Romford to Upminster route here.
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Image attribution"Unit 378210 at Stratford" by Sunil060902 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Unit_378210_at_Stratford.JPG#/media/File:Unit_378210_at_Stratford.JPG