The first of a fleet of new trains for the London Overground and TfL Rail routes has been shown off, with USB charging points and a brand new seat moquette. The first new trains will be introduced between Gospel Oak and Barking to double the existing capacity and replace the 35 year old trains on West Anglia routes.
The first of the new trains will be in passenger service by November — 18 months later than originally expected due to delays in electrification of the railway.
The number of people using the Gospel Oak to Barking service has grown exponentially since it became integrated into the TfL network and the new electric trains will have four-cars, doubling the capacity of the current diesel stock to almost 700 customers per train, relieving congestion on this line between north and east London.
The trains are being built at Bombardier Transport’s UK site in Derby where 120 local engineering staff have worked on the design and testing of the trains. A further 170 staff have been working on manufacturing the trains, with 50 per cent of these recruited specifically to fulfil this contract. Twenty apprentices have worked on the production of the trains. Around 50 per cent of the supply chain was with UK suppliers and worth £56m, indirectly supporting further jobs across the country.
The Class 710 train being supplied is a development of Bombardier’s Aventra electric multiple unit design, as already in use on the London Overground and future Elizabeth line.
Final approval of the much delayed work carried out by Network Rail to electrify the Gospel Oak to Barking route was completed last week, which signals the next phase of this project. The new trains will now be tested on this new infrastructure over the summer to prove they meet TfL’s safety and reliability requirements.
Drivers will undergo training over the summer on simulators before the first of the new trains enters passenger service.
A fleet of 54 trains has been ordered.
The first eight trains will be introduced on the newly electrified Gospel Oak to Barking by November. They will then be brought onto the Watford to Euston route and on services out of Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town replacing the current fleet, some which are over 35 years old that TfL inherited when it took over the suburban routes from Abellio Greater Anglia in 2015.
Once the new trains are in use on the Watford-Euston line, the existing trains serving that route will be used to increase capacity on the East London line.
The new trains will also be used on the extension to Barking Riverside when it is completed in 2021.