Dear Darlin Olly Murs
28 January 2014, 16:12
A model of a new train which promises to "transform" rail travel on one of the country's busiest routes has been unveiled at London's ExCel Centre.
£80 million has been invested in developing the electric Class 700, which claims to be more reliable and energy efficient.
It's being built for the Thameslink route through London. The first new trains are due to start operating in 2016.
The 1,140 carriages are being built by Siemens in Germany, but up to 2,000 jobs will be created in the UK supply chain, and an extra 3,000 workers are expected to be employed as part of wider Thameslink infrastructure works.
The government says its £6.5 billion Thameslink programme will offer increased capacity and reliability, more seats through central London, more frequent services from St Albans and more carriages into London Bridge.
Speaking at the unveiling of a full-scale mock-up of the train today, rail minister Stephen Hammond said: "We are transforming our railways through the biggest programme of rail investment ever.
"These exciting new trains, combined with the wider Thameslink programme, are a real boost to UK Plc, creating thousands of jobs in construction and across the supply chain, which is driving forward our economy.
"Once operational they will provide a huge benefit to the hundreds of thousands of passengers who travel into London every day. It will vastly improve train travel providing fast, reliable and more frequent services."
Steve Scrimshaw, managing director of Siemens Rail Systems UK, said: "The innovative design incorporates the feedback of UK train operators, train crew, cleaners and maintainers, as well as dedicated passenger research, helping us turn proven technology and expertise into a state-of-the-art train of the future."