UK: The design of the 66 Aventra Class 345 electric multiple-units which Bombardier Transportation is building for the Crossrail project was unveiled by Transport for London on November 20.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby of Barber & Osgerby are TfL and Bombardier’s design advisors for the Crossrail trains. According to TfL, the interior design and colour palette has been selected to ‘provide an accessible and welcoming environment’ and to match the stations for a ‘consistent customer experience’. The dark floors and natural finish materials ‘will wear in and not wear out’, while the lighter ceilings are intended to maximise a feeling of height and openness.

Each nine-car 25 kV 50 Hz EMU will be more than 200 m long, with a capacity of 1 500 passengers. They will have aluminium bodyshells, with walk-through gangways and three doorways per car side opening onto wide spaces to facilitate rapid boarding and alighting. They will be equipped for regenerative braking, and will have real-time passenger information as well as ‘intelligent’ lighting and temperature control systems. Free wi-fi will be available on the trains and platforms, and there will be 4G coverage.

There will be a mixture of ‘metro-style’ and bay seating, with four wheelchair spaces and a number of multi-use spaces with tip-up seating to accommodate prams or luggage.

‘It’s fantastic to think that these sleek new trains will soon be transporting millions of people across our great city and beyond’, said Mayor of London Boris Johnson. ‘They’re feature packed, eye-catching machines that showcase the best of British design and engineering.’

Bombardier beat bids from Hitachi and CAF to win the £1bn, 32-year Crossrail rolling stock supply and maintenance contract in February 2014. The EMUs are being built at Bombardier’s factory in Derby, and will be tested at the Old Dalby test track before delivery. They are scheduled to enter services on the Liverpool Street – Shenfield route from May 2017, initially as seven-car sets. The first nine-car sets will enter service between Heathrow Airport and Paddington from May 2018, with all units to be lengthened to nine cars for the start of the full Crossrail service in December 2019.

  • Andy Brassington, Head of Engineering, Single Deck Platforms, at Bombardier Transportation describes the development of the Aventra family in the November 2015 issue of Railway Gazette International magazine.

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