UK: Prior to the Class 700 electric multiple-unit being brought into service between Bedford and Brighton over the next few weeks, on May 24 Govia Thameslink Railway presented to stakeholders a 12-car variant of the 115 trainsets that are being built by Siemens.

‘These trains have been designed to carry up to 1 750 people in climate-controlled comfort, which is essential to meet the huge growth in passenger numbers that have soared 40% in the past decade’, said GTR CEO Charles Horton. He also highlighted ‘their wide doors, open interiors and state-of-the-art real-time passenger information systems’, which would help GTR run a high-frequency service on the Thameslink route across London in 2018, offering 80% more seats.

According to Horton, new passenger facilities would ‘transform the travel experience’ on the Thameslink route. As well as train-running information and the service status of London Underground lines, in-car screens will also display the location of toilets and the loading of each car within the train, based on weight sensors within the suspension. GTR hopes that this will encourage passengers to take advantage of the Class 700’s wider gangways, aisles and 2+2 seating configuration to move along the train to where there is more room.