New fleet of carriages increases capacity by 42% on South West Trains
The £65m introduction of 108 additional and refurbished carriages has now been completed on South West Trains, providing space for more than 23,000 extra passengers during the busiest times of the day.

This roll out is a vital part of the biggest improvements made to this network for decades – providing longer trains for many of the network’s busiest services.

The number of train carriages in service on the South West Trains network has increased from 1,022 in 1996 to 1,449 – an increase of 42%.

The additional carriages are comprised of Class 456 and Class 458/5 carriages – all of which feature wider doors to help passengers get on and off the train, improved seating, full CCTV and new flooring.

The Class 458/5 trains were created by integrating the Class 460 fleet, previously used by Gatwick Express, into the network’s existing 4-car Class 458 fleet to create a fleet of 36 5-car units.

A further 150 new carriages will start to be introduced next year as part of a £210m investment.

Thameslink’s first new 12-carriage train enters passenger service
Thameslink’s first new 12-carriage trainThameslink’s first new Siemens-built Class 700 train took its maiden voyage on the 10.02 passenger service from Brighton to London Bridge on 20 June.

Unit 700108 is the first of 55 new 12-carriage trains to be introduced onto Thameslink services. The train was given a gentle introduction on the Brighton line, making a total of four trips during off-peak times, and nine trips the following day. The new train is capable of carrying up to 1,750 passengers in air conditioned comfort and has now begun operating regularly on the Thameslink route through central London between Brighton and Bedford.

The 12-carriage format, which is half as long again as most Thameslink trains, is destined to run during peak times from Brighton, and once the new fleet and timetable have been introduced, over 1,000 extra standard class seats will be available in the crowded morning peak.

Ultimately 115 new trains will be introduced on the expanded Thameslink network, running to new destinations such as Peterborough and Cambridge. A further 60 new 8-carriage trains are on order

Freightliner incorporates recycled parts into new wagons for Tarmac
Freightliner has become the first UK rail operator to build new European Standards compliant box wagons from a significant proportion of recycled materials.

A fleet of 23 new wagons, now in operation for Tarmac, were made using recycled parts from redundant HHA (102t) coal hoppers.

Wagon builder Greenbrier Europe and Freightliner determined that, with some modifications, the bogies and some of the braking equipment from the hoppers would be compatible with an existing design of box wagons that Greenbrier had previously produced.