Class 700 undergoes climatic testing

The first new Class 700 Thameslink Desiro train has been put through a series of extreme weather tests at the Rail Tec Arsenal climate chamber in Vienna.

The trials look at the vehicle’s ability to handle extremes of weather and temperature, from solar gain to ice, snow and wind.

Systems such as the air conditioning and heating, and external components, are monitored during the process.

So far, 45 body shells have been completed and the first full 12-car train has been delivered to the Wildenrath test track in Germany.

Iain Smith, programme director, Thameslink, at Siemens Rail Systems UK, said: “Extreme weather conditions are just part of an intensive test process for the Class 700.

“Each of the 1,140 carriages will also undergo rigorous testing and fault free mileage accumulation at Wildenrath to ensure the trains are as close to working ‘out of the box’ as possible and ready for passenger service on the important Thameslink routes.”

The first Class 700 is expected to be introduced on the Bedford to Brighton line in early 2016.