The Anonymous Widower

Is Crossrail Having An Affect On Train Purchases In The South East?

Crossrail and Crossrail 2 are designed to take-over suburban lines out of London.

Crossrail’s Trains

Crossrail has chosen to use Class 345 trains, which are Aventras built by Bombardier in Derby.

I would suspect that if Crossrail 2 is built, it will use the same trains, as a unified fleet must be easier and more affordable to manage.

Crossrail’s Suburban Routes

It is worth looking at the routes these services will take over and their future train fleets.

Great Eastern Main Line To Shenfield

The slow lines of the Great Eastern Main Line have been taken over by Crossrail to provide a service to their terminus at Shenfield.

Greater Anglia have chosen to replace their assorted suburban fleet with Class 720 trains, which are also Aventras.

This must be a sensible move, as there is likely to be a certain amount of platform sharing between Crossrail and Greater Anglia between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

Wheelchair ramps would be the same, or would level access from platform to train be provided.

These pictures show Class 345 trains at Liverpool Street and Stratford stations.

The step is not bad, but it is less than some on the London Overground. However, a few well-placed Harrington Humps would probably make entry and exit a lot easier.

It also must help, if Crossrail extends its route past Shenfield to perhaps Beaulieu, Chelmsford or Southend Victoria. Platforms updated for Greater Anglia’s Class 720 trains, would surely fit Crossrail’s Class 345 trains.

I also don’t think there are any platform length issues, although my research says that ten-car Class 720 trains are longer than nine-car Class 345 trains.

Great Western Main Line To Heathrow and Reading

The slow lines of the Great Western Main Line have been taken over by Crossrail to provide a service to their termini at Heathrow and Reading.

Great Western Railway (GWR) were forced to use Class 387 trains, due to electrification delays on the Great Western Main Line and late deliveries of Class 700 trains for Thameslink.

This is all a bit of a dog’s breakfast and I think there’ll be a bit of a sort-out, with perhaps..

  • Electrification to Basingstoke, Newbury and Oxford.
  • Crossrail with an increased frequency, serving all stations between London and Reading.
  • Bedwyn and Oxford would be served by GWR’s five-car Class 800 trains, which would be at 125 mph between Eddington and Reading.

There could be some rather nice Class 387 trains going cheap?

But the result would be the slow lines would be Crossrail-only!

West Coast Main Line To Milton Keynes

This is a possible extension to Crossrail, from the mega hub at Old Oak Common station.

The current local operators on the West Coast Main Line are London Overground and West Midlands Trains.

Both operators have ordered new Aventras for these routes out of London.

London Overground is even replacing modern Class 378 trains with new Class 710 trains on the Watford DC Line.

Suburban Services Out Of Waterloo

If Crossrail 2 gets built, then some of these services will be taken over.

South Western Railway (SWR) have already ordered Class 701 trains for these routes.

This would appear to be a sensible move, as any improvements to platforms and stations made by SWR, will be compatible with Crossrail 2.

West Anglia Main Line To Broxbourne

If Crossrail 2 gets built, then some of these services along the West Anglia Main Line, will be taken over.

Greater Anglia have already ordered Class 720 trains for these routes.

This would appear to be another sensible move, as any improvements made by Greater Anglia, will be compatible with Crossrail 2.

Even after Crossrail 2 opens, Greater Anglia services will still be using the West Anglia Main Line, so there should be no compatibility problems.

North Kent Line To Abbey Wood, Ebbsfleet and Gravesend

The Mayor of London, several London Boroughs and other groups are pushing to extend Crossrail to Ebbsfleet.

Currently, there is a mixture of trains on the North Kent Line,


  • .In a few years time, there will be a new franchise holder.
  • It is likely that a lot of trains will be replaced.
  • It is likely that Crossrail and existing North Kent services will share a two-track railway.

It strikes me that there is a high chance that these replacement trains will be Aventras, as this will create a more efficient railway.

How Compatible Are Class 700 Trains With Aventras?

This question has to be asked, as the two different classes of trains will share routes and platforms.

  • Along the North Kent Line if Crossrail is extended.
  • Around the Cambridge area, where Thameslink and Greater Anglia share platforms.

I would assume that they must be very compatible, as the railway press isn’t saying anything to the contrary.

Surely, in a sensible world, both Thameslink and Crossrail would have used the same class of train!


It looks like there are advantages to having a line run by one family of trains.

  • All trains will fit all platforms.
  • Platform procedures will be similar for passengers and staff.
  • Aventras can be fitted with the latest signalling and control systems.

Will these shared characteristics result in extra capacity?

March 5, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] hand, Southeastern’s routes could be very much in Crossrail territory and as I showed in Is Crossrail Having An Affect On Train Purchases In The South East?, I think it is very likely that the nod will go to Aventras for the […]

    Pingback by Siemens Unveils Plans For £200m Train Factory In East Yorkshire « The Anonymous Widower | March 6, 2018 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.