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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

First bodyshell of Crossrail train revealed



Bombardier Aventra who are currently constructing the Class 345 have unveiled their bodyshell for TFL to report on.

TFL reports on their press release:

The production of the new Crossrail trains, which will help meet the needs of the rapidly growing population of London and the South East, has reached an important milestone with the completion of a test carriage at Bombardier's train manufacturing plant in Derby.

This first body shell is being used to refine the design and the manufacturing techniques needed for the full production of the 594 carriages needed for the 66 Crossrail trains.


At over 200m long, the trains will be around the length of two full-sized (Premier League) football pitches or 18 New Routemaster buses. They will provide space for up to 1,500 passengers and help to relieve congestion on journeys between east and west London and beyond into Berkshire in the West and Essex in the East. The trains will have wide interconnecting gangways and three double doors on each side of each carriage, providing high capacity and quick boarding and alighting times that will be particularly beneficial at busy central stations.

The manufacture and delivery of the trains and depot at Old Oak Common are supporting 760 UK manufacturing jobs, as well as 80 apprenticeships. Over the course of the project, it is estimated that Crossrail and its supply chain will support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs across the country.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:

'The first test train carriage to roll off the assembly line in Derby is a fantastic visual reminder of how close we are to seeing a new railway line up and running in the Capital. It also shows how this amazing construction project is supporting jobs and apprenticeships not only in London but across the UK.'

Howard Smith, TfL's Crossrail Operations Director, said:

'It's really exciting to see this first body shell from Bombardier's new purpose-built testing and commissioning facility. It not only brings Crossrail closer but also highlights how the project is creating jobs, opportunities and economic growth in other parts of the country.'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

'It is great to see Bombardier's progress in delivering the first test train carriage. This is an exciting milestone for the Crossrail project, and these state-of-the-art new trains showcase British engineering at its best. As well as transforming travel across the capital when it opens, our investment in Crossrail is also helping to boost local economies by creating jobs and apprenticeships around the UK.'

Joe Bednall, Bombardier's Project Director, said:

'This assembled body shell, which has progressed rapidly from a blank piece of paper through to build and test, is the first off the production line for the Crossrail project. It will first go to be tested, to validate the body shell design, before being painted and re-assembled to form the client's cab and saloon mock up. The on-time completion of this new light-weight body shell design marks an important milestone in the ongoing successful delivery of the Crossrail project.'

TfL and Bombardier have been working with designers Barber & Osgerby on the design of the Crossrail trains, which will be unveiled later this year.

The first trains will begin to operate between Liverpool Street and Shenfield from May 2017, running through the central section in 2018 ahead of the full Crossrail route from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east in 2019.

Earlier this year, TfL began operating the first section of what will become the Crossrail route from Liverpool Street to Shenfield and started refurbishing the twelve stations along the route from Maryland to Shenfield. Since 31 May, these stations have been staffed from first to last train. TfL has been working with the operator MTR to improve reliability and from 26 July until 22 August, 96.9 per cent of all trains along this route ran within 5 minutes of schedule, one of the best performance figures of all operators in Britain.


The first new Crossrail trains will operate from around May 2017 which is not too far away. We will also be seeing the new Class 700 for the Thameslink route which is part of National Rail network. The first Class 700 trains are expected to be in service between 2016 and 2018. That means by 2020, we will see two mainline rail services crossing through Central London. The interchange station for Crossrail and Thameslink will be Farringdon station.

Computer generated image of Class 700 Thameslink train
The Crossrail Class 345 train has a length of 200 metres, now compare that to the Thameslink Class 700 which has two sizes of the train length. The 8 car train is 162 metres whilst the 12 car is 242.6 metres.

Crossrail is just around the corner and hopefully once it kicks in, it will relieve pressure from the London Underground Central Line and London Buses Route 25 services.

It's interesting to see how the railway network of London is progressing and hopefully it will encourage more and more people to use the transport services rather than using their own cars which will help tackle the contribution to climate change from diesel emissions. It's also worth noting that regardless of how the fares rise, the passenger journey numbers keep increasing.

Click to view the London Railway map in 2018 (PDF Format) created by Project Mapping.

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