The Anonymous Widower

Where Are All The Class 700 Trains?

Yesterday, as I returned from Ilkeston station, there were large numbers of Class 700 trains in sidings along the Thameslink route from Bedford to St. Pancras.

But this morning, when I sat in the sun on West Hampstead Thameslink station for an hour and a quarter, I saw the following trains running Thameslink services.

There wasn’t a reliable service due to an earlier train failure.

On a rough calculation 65% of all services are still run by the previous fleet and only 35% by new Class 700 trains.

This article in Rail Magazine, which is dated September 2016, is entitled 29th Class 700 delivered to UK.

This is said in Wikipedia about the first delivery of the Class 700 trains.

The first delivered train arrived in the UK by the end of July 2015, and was delivered to the Three Bridges depot The first test run on the Brighton Main Line took place in December 2015.

The first train in service was unit 700108 forming the 1002 Brighton to London Bridge service on 20 June 2016.

So it would appear that Siemens have delivered about two trains per month.

That would mean that since September 2016, another twelve trains have been delivered, which would make a total of 41. This works out that 35% of the Class 700 trains have been delivered.

So that means that, the proportion of services run by Class 700 trains, is the same as that of the number of trains delivered.

Perhaps not too surprising!

It will be interesting to see this percentage in say a couple of months time.

Delivery Of The Complete Fleet

This article in Railway Gazette International is entitled Thameslink Class 700 testing to begin soon, says this about the completion of the fleet’s introduction into service.

The first units are expected to enter service with Govia Thameslink Railway in spring 2016, initially on the Thameslink route and then on Great Northern services by 2017. All Thameslink services would be operated by Class 700s from 2017, with the full fleet in service by the end of 2018.

So this means that if there were 29 trains in the UK at the end of September 2015 and there will be 115 trains in service at the end of December 2018, this means a delivery rate of about three trains per month.

An increased rate of delivery is probably to be expected, as Siemens learn more about the production process.


As to hard facts on train reliability, there is very little.

In the January 2017 Edition of Modern Railways,, Roger Ford compares the first few months of the Class 700 with the first few months if a Class 444 train.

This is said.

The lesson is clear; no matter how good your product or how many thousands of miles of test running accumulated at Wildenrath or Velim, the real world is a different matter.

Roger Ford also says the following.

  • The performance of the Class 707 trains, which are Class 700 clones, will be very interesting, as they’ll have all of Thameslink’s experience.
  • Put a ten pound bet on improvement.

So reliability is probably what to expect.

Comfort, Wi-Fi And Cup-Holders

If the Class 700 have a problem it is the interiors.

In By Class 700 Train To Brighton And Back, I said this.

I would describe the trains as adequate for the core route from East Croydon to West Hampstead and Finsbury Park, but they do have limitations for long-distance commuters.

  • There are no tables or even anywhere to put a drink.
  • There is no wi-fi.
  • There are no power sockets to charge a laptop or phone.

The new Class 345 trains for Crossrail, don’t have tables either, but they do have wi-fi and 4G. But these are short-distance trains and unlike the Class 700 trains, which are taking over from Class 387 trains with tables, most of previous stock that worked from Reading to Shenfield didn’t have tables, wi-fi or power sockets.

Govia Thameslink Railway must be really pleased to get a set of trains, without some of the features their passengers demand.

To be fair it’s not their fault, as these trains were designed to fit a Passenger Focus report which can be found on the Internet, that was written in the dying days of the last Labour Government.

Read the document and draw your own conclusions.

It’ll be interesting to see how long the trains are in service, before they have a refit!


It looks like the trains are being delivered as promised and, their reliability could be as expected, but the interior is not what the passengers need or want.


April 3, 2017 - Posted by | Transport | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Where is the c710???

    On 3 Apr 2017 5:54 p.m., “The Anonymous Widower” wrote:

    > AnonW posted: “Yesterday, as I returned from Ilkeston station, there were > large numbers of Class 700 trains in sidings along the Thameslink route > from Bedford to \st. Pancras. But this morning, when I sat in the sun on > West Hampstead Thamelink station for an hour and” >

    Comment by Russ Hurley | April 5, 2017 | Reply

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