The trains will run between Moorgate in the City of London and Welwyn and Hertford, Stevenage and Letchworth. They will be made by Siemens as a variant of the Class 700 trains, based on the Desiro City platform, which is being built for GTR's new Thameslink service. These trains replace Class 313 trains built in 1976/77, which are the oldest type of electric trains in operation in mainland Britain.
GTR Chief Executive Officer Charles Horton said: "We are delighted to have secured the financing for this new fleet which will give our passengers on Great Northern's suburban routes a modern, high-quality environment which is light years ahead of what we have been able to offer to date with the current 40-year-old stock. And when we bring the Moorgate trains online we'll also increase the frequency of services considerably in the off-peak and at weekends and even, to a lesser degree, in the morning and evening peaks. The new Moorgate trains make up just one of three major fleets we are introducing which will steadily improve services and drive up passenger satisfaction."
"This is already the third order we've received for our Desiro City vehicle platform developed especially for the UK market. The platform concept was developed in the context of a two-year, 50-million-Euro research program based on proven Desiro UK trains, an investment that has paid off," says Jochen Eickholt, CEO of the Siemens Mobility Division.
The new train's features include:
- Fixed length with full width inter-vehicle gangways, creating more space for passengers on board (there are no intermediate cabs)
- Intelligent climate-controlled air-conditioning
- The latest in passenger information systems with real-time information
- Fully accessible and compliant with disability legislation
- Power points throughout
- Full Passenger WiFi functionality built in.