Manufacturer Siemens and operator Govia Thameslink Railway told RAIL on May 24 that discussions are ongoing regarding fitting plug sockets, Standard Class tables and WiFi retrospectively to the Class 700 fleet.
GTR said that the design was essential to meet huge passenger growth, which has soared by 40% in the past decade. The trains feature wider doors and aisles, to make getting on and off easier, as well as spacious walkways between carriages made possible by the removal of vestibules.
Passenger feedback was sought, and this has resulted in the fitting of 2+2 seating instead of standard 3+2 seating, although this has resulted in fewer seats in the trains. The reduction in seating is offset by an increase in space.
The ‘700s’ are fitted with adaptive climate-controlled air-conditioning that adjusts to the number of passengers. Electronic signs are also fitted to show passengers where seats are available, or where there is more space to stand. Similar screens are also being fitted at stations across the Thameslink network. Screens will also carry real-time service information both for the GTR and Transport for London networks.
“Not only will many of these trains be longer and more spacious, they will be cutting edge with real-time information from around the network and the Tube,” said GTR Chief Executive Officer Charles Horton.
- For more on the Class 700 launch, read RAIL 802, published on June 8.