Great Northern completes the introduction of Electrostars on the King’s Lynn route
Great Northern has completed the transfer of Bombardier Class 387/1 Electrostars from Thameslink to the King’s Cross – Cambridge – King’s Lynn route as part of a huge fleet cascade across the franchise. The Bombardier-built air conditioned carriages are just a couple of years old and have been progressively transferred to Great Northern as Thameslink received its newly manufactured Class 700s Desiros from Siemens. Over the next few months, the trains will be updated with free Wi-Fi.
Govia Thameslink Railway infrastructure director Keith Jipps said: “This is part of a plan to replace three-quarters of our trains by 2020. In just a few short years, we’ll be moving from one of the oldest fleets in the country to one of the newest.”
All Class 365s, 321s and 317s have now been removed from service between King’s Cross and Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn. The arrival of the new trains, on 21 May, coincides with the opening of a new station, Cambridge North – see page 17.
Once Network Rail has completed upgrades between Cambridge and King’s Lynn, Great Northern will be able double the length of trains on that section of the service to eight carriages.
Eurostar launches its new state-of- the-art e320 trains on the London-Brussels route
Eurostar, the high-speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, has introduced new e320 trains on the London- Brussels route. The e320, which has been operating between London and Paris since November 2015, was designed by the Italian design house, Pininfarina, and has 20% more capacity than the original Eurostar trains, provides Wi-Fi connectivity and 300 hours of onboard entertainment streamed to customers’ personal devices.
The new trains, which now operate 50% of services between London and Brussels, are part of a £1bn programme of investment in fleet, stations and service. This includes 17 new e320s, the refurbishment of the original trains and extensive renovation of the Eurostar terminal in Brussels Midi.
Michel Jadot, director marketing and sales SNCB, said: “Our efforts to revamp the Channel Terminal into a bigger and brighter check-in area can be witnessed today. The capacity has increased, matching the new trains on the Brussels-London route, which are able to transport more passengers. Special attention was dedicated to improving the customer flow with the new, larger checkin structure of the terminal offering far more easy access.”
Eurostar is currently finalising plans to launch a new direct service from London to Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Procurement gets under way for new generation of DLR trains
TfL has begun the process of sourcing a new generation of rolling stock for the DLR. A notice has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) seeking expressions of interest from the train manufacturing industry to build the new trains.
The initial requirement is for 43 new 87m train sets. 33 of these will replace two thirds of the existing older stock, some of which is 25 years old, and 10 will increase capacity.
The first three sets would be delivered for final acceptance testing by June 2021, and enter service from June 2022. The remaining 40 would be delivered from July 2022, with the last entering service no later than June 2024.
There would be options for up to 34 additional sets to be ordered within 72 months of the award of the initial contract.
Danny Price, TfL’s director of DLR, said: “These new trains will enable us to increase capacity on the DLR by 30%, significantly improving the comfort, reliability and quality of our service for customers. Ordering them now ensures that we get the best value for money in the long term and can support continuing growth in east London.”
A formal Invitation to Tender is expected to be issued later this year and a contract awarded in Summer 2018.