Testing milestone for Class 700

One of Thameslink’s new Class 700 units has reached 100 mph during testing on at Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany.

Smashing through the 100 mph barrier marks another milestone in the production of the new £1.6 billion fleet, which will be fully delivered by 2018.

Iain Smith, programme director, Thameslink, at Siemens Rail Systems UK, said: “The Class 700 will be required to travel at up to 100 mph every day in service so this rigorous testing process is a fundamental part of the programme. This will ensure reliable performance of the 24-train-an-hour service through central London when the Thameslink Programme is completed.”

Thameslink’s current operator First Capital Connect (FCC) has been managing the introduction of the new trains since the rolling stock contract was finalised in June 2013. Last month, the government announced that Govia had won a seven-year contract for the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise, beginning in September this year.

FCC’s Thameslink programme director, Jonathan Bridgewood, said: “Our passengers have been looking forward to new trains on the Thameslink route with great anticipation.

“To actually now see one travelling at line speed on the test track in Germany is a wonderful achievement and a credit to everyone involved in the project.”