The UK’s Secretary of State for Transport has attended an official launch ceremony for Thameslink’s new Class 700 at InnoTrans 2014.
Alongside Siemens Rail Systems chief executive Jochen Eickholt, Patrick McLoughlin presented the first three completed Class 700 carriages to crowd’s at the bi-annual trade fair in Berlin.
The first of the new Desiro City trainsets will go into service in 2016 on the existing Thameslink route. In 2018, the full peak service of 24 trains per hour will operate in and out of London Bridge.
A programme of climatic testing has already been completed and a Class 700 trainset recently hit 160 km/h while conducting trial runs on the Wegberg-Wildenrath test circuit in Germany.
“A world-class rail network needs world-class trains,” said McLoughlin.
The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed the £1.6 billion order with Siemens in the summer of 2013- two years after the German manufacturer was named as the preferred bidder for the contract.