Published: 27th November 2015
The Bombardier Transportation UK built fleet will comprise of 594 carriages forming 66 Crossrail trains which will be maintain at Old Oak Common and supported by a smaller depot at Ilford. The trains will be the first modern era trains not to have a yellow warning panel at each end. The warning to trackworkers is provided by high density headlights.
The trains, like the stations, will be fully accessible and will operate between Reading, Heathrow, Shenfield and Abbey Wood on completion of the project in 2019. Crossrail will add 10 per cent to London's rail capacity and will enable main line trains to run on and east-west axis through London. Given that the population of London is forecast to grow from 8.6 million today to around 10 million in 15 years, extra rail capacity is vital.
Crossrail is expected to carry 200 million passengers annually providing a significant improvement for commuters and airport passengers while providing employment across London and the South East. The new trains’ contract was awarded to Bombardier Transportation's UK factory in Derby (amongst some political angst at the award time), and each one can carry 1,500 passengers. They have been designed to allow a large number of standing passengers who may only be travelling a few stops, but will not have any toilets. This is because the train service pattern will be a turn up and go with each station will be staffed while trains are running and will have toilets.
All Crossrail served stations will have platforms 205 metres long to accommodate the nine car trains and inbuilt passive provision for a 35 metre extension should longer trains be required in the future. The carriages are walk-through and each has three double doors equally spaced apart to enable huge volumes of passengers to alight and join quickly minimising platform dwell-time helping to maintain punctuality. The mixture of metro-style and bay seating with clear areas by the doors is a vital component of the project as on-tie train presentation at other network interchange points such as Royal Oak is a crucial element of the project.
The trains are constructed with aluminium body shells to reduce weight and feature regenerative braking, intelligent lighting and temperature control systems. The new trains will use 30% less electricity than the existing Class 315 electric trains that will be replaced on the Liverpool Street to Shenfield line.
Trains will be driver only operated with on-train customer information systems delivering real-time travel information and onboard free 4G Wi-Fi will enable passengers to remain connected as they will at stations as well.
The interior design has darker floors and natural finish materials that will wear in, and not wear out designed to retain their high-quality feel for years to come. Light coloured ceilings will maximise the spacial openness inside the new trains and the design identity will also align with Crossrail stations offering a consistent customer experience.
TfL has a policy of accessible travel and each train offers four dedicated wheelchair spaces and some multi-use spaces available, where seating can be tipped up to accommodate prams or luggage. Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby were the design advisors for the Crossrail train.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: `It's fantastic to think that these sleek new trains will soon be transporting millions of people across our great city and beyond. They're feature packed, eye-catching machines that showcase the best of British design and engineering. They'll add vital capacity to our rail network and will help to ensure our economy continues its onward journey full-steam ahead. The largest construction project in Europe is another tantalising step closer to becoming a brand new working railway for the Capital.'
Rail Minister Claire Perry said: `I am delighted that these British-built trains have been designed with customers at their heart, with onboard facilities that are fit for a truly 21st century rail link.
`The spacious layout and longer trains will provide a significant boost to London's rail capacity, meaning better journeys for passengers, and transforming the way people travel between east and west.
Howard Smith, TfL's Operations Director of Crossrail, said: `Crossrail will mean faster, more frequent and reliable journeys for people in London, Essex and out to Berkshire. It will help us serve London's growing population and support more jobs and homes, with around 200 million customers expected to travel on Crossrail each year.
`The trains will have walk-through carriages, each with three wide doorways to enable people to get on and off quickly at central stations, air-conditioning, are fully accessible and use the latest technology to provide customers with real-time travel information to help them plan their onward journeys.
Peter Doolin, Bombardier Transportation's Vice President Projects, Crossrail & London Underground, said: `Bombardier is delighted to be working with TfL in designing, manufacturing and testing these iconic new trains for London - all done right here in the UK. The new Crossrail trains are based on our very latest Aventra product platform, which has proudly been designed and developed as a technology leading train for the UK.
Crossrail trains are being operated by MTR corporation on behalf of TfL. Services commenced in May 2015 with the Liverpool Street to Shenfield route and the current planning assumption is that new Crossrail trains will be introduced to run Crossrail services as follows:
Liverpool Street to Shenfield – May 2017
Heathrow to Paddington (mainline platforms) – May 2018 (when the Crossrail concession takes over the Heathrow Connect service)
Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Abbey Wood – December 2018
Paddington (Crossrail platforms) to Shenfield – May 2019
Full through service (including services to Reading) – December 2019