Despite controversy over the retention of ageing Pacer units in the north, new fleets now on order, will substantially boost capacity on South West Trains and Thameslink services.
An agreement between the DfT, Angel Trains and Siemens will procure 30 new five-carriage Desiro City trains and provide more than 18,000 extra peak-time seats in and out of London Waterloo, the country’s busiest station.
The first of the 150 new carriages will begin arriving in 2017 and all will be in service by early 2018.
The new trains will be maintained by SWT at its Wimbledon depot, which has recently benefitted from a £6 million investment.
The new second generation Desiro City trains being built by Siemens are similar in style to the Class 700 units being produced for the Thameslink route.
Three complete Thameslink Desiro City carriages will be displayed at Innotrans 2014.
Siemens is manufacturing 1,140 Class 700 carriages for the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise, which Govia begins operating in September.
The first of the new Class 700s will start operating on the route from 2016. Siemens is building two new depots at Three Bridges and Hornsey to maintain the fleet.
Says Rail Minister Claire Perry, ‘More passengers are travelling on our railways than ever before and to meet the demand for extra seats and services over £38 billion will be spent on the railways during the next five years.
‘This latest new train deal is proof not only of our determination to transform Britain’s railways but also the industry’s commitment to deliver a better journey for Britain’s passengers.’