Earlier today, the media were shown a working Elizabeth line train, currently being tested at Bombardier’s facility in Derby.


With news hounds from overseas as well as local indicting how much interest London’s new railway is causing, it was a chance to see the first train in action, and inside what is still a test unit.

As it’s the test train, the interiors are fitted out in test colours, so the moquette is not the final version, which will be more purple in design. Also, some of the interior fittings are not in their final design, but this was an early chance to see inside the Elizabeth line trains that will come into service in just 10 months time.

In total, 66 of the 9-carriage trains have been ordered, with an option for 18 more later.

The new ‘Class 345’ trains will enter service in May 2017 on TfL Rail between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. The first trains will initially be seven carriages and 160 metres long to fit existing platforms at Liverpool Street.

The nine carriage, 200 metre-long trains, each are able to carry up to 1,500 people, will be introduced from May 2018, initially between Heathrow and Paddington.


(click on the photos to enlarge)


Emerging from the old APT shed in Derby for the test run


On Bombardier’s test track


Not a future station name


A second train peeks out of the new fit-out shed


Recent regulation changes mean no need for yellow frontages.


Inside the fit-out shed


Unfinished wheels


First look at the interior


Future hanging straps


Different seating layouts


Elizabeth line map


Unfinished carriage


Behind the paneling


Note the fold-up armrests, and the two different designs for armrest.


Underneath the train


Unfinished interior


More panels uncovered.


The driver’s seat


The bosses line up.


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  1. Peter from Putney says:

    Nice looking trains, apart from the carrot-sick looking seating (sorry!)

  2. Richard Ash says:

    Glad to see that they have come with sanding gear designed in! It might be old, but it seems to work.

  3. Victoria Line says:

    I note the combination of seating arrangement and the aisle looks very wide in some places, so plenty of room for standing.

  4. SteveP says:

    Aren’t those rather high-capacity trains to run from Heathrow to Paddington? The HEX is often half empty now. And from the map it would appear no Reading o Heathrow service? Say it isn’t so…

    • Ian Visits says:

      It’s a test design, so never ever read too much into what you are seeing, especially maps (or moquette).

      The line will not replace the Heathrow Express, but the slower and busier Heathrow Connect. As for the Heathrow-Reading link, that is already under development, but is not a crossrail project.


    • Phil says:

      The moquette is awful. Please get an assurance that they won’t make people travel on bloody puke-coloured seats!

    • Ian Visits says:

      The assurance you require is in the article text.

    • Chris W says:

      The current motif as displayed on 345002 is very similar to that of the D78/83ts units when introduced…

      Whilst the motif is neither here nor there…. the lack of seating might be an issue…

      632 seats per 2 x 4 car unit on a class 315 train verses how many on these initial 7 x car… then a 9 x car train ??

      The further into Essex or Berkshire anyone travels, then the greater the cost of travel… and potentially the fewer seats available in the centre of town, especially when heading home of an evening. The ‘charge’ effect between the Central to TfL Rail lines at Stratford is very telling already… suggesting that seats will be at a premium.

      I’ll be using these as of next May and when introduced… whilst I’m happy to be wrong, the very fact that I am already not convinced indicates at least a few fractious months of commuting 🙁

  5. Cath says:

    Impressed by the racial and gender diversity in the “bosses lineup”!
    Crossrail is all inclusive I see!

  6. Steve says:

    Those fabric seats will be filthy within a year of going into use just like the est of the disgustingly filthy London tube. With all the investment that has gone into this project you couldn’t find a solution for this?


  7. Alexander Travis Hine says:

    I think it is short sighted for not providing toilets on the train, What about those passengers that will travel fro Shenfield to Reading.

  8. Adam Norman says:


    I am A design student studying Industrial Design at Brunel University London. For the past year I have been investigating the potential to harvest the wind power coming from train, specifically on the new London Crossrail.

    For our final graduate show Made in Brunel, as well as our graduate book, contextual mock-ups are required to show our projects in situ. I was wondering if it would be okay to use the front of the train shown in image captioned “recent regulation changes mean no need for yellow frontages.” The perspective is ideal and as an undergraduate it will be very difficult for me to gain access to take such a photo.

    Full accreditation can be given if you desire.

    For more information about Made in Brunel please visit: http://madeinbrunel.com

    If you want more information about either my project, the Made in Brunel show or the way in which I wish to use the image, please email me.

    Thank you,


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