Govia are pleased to confirm that the 21st brand new Class 717 train entered passenger service on the Great Northern Metro routes to Moorgate today, meaning that the roll-out of the £240m train fleet is now complete.
The new fleet has transformed the Great Northern Metro with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, live updates from London Underground, modern accessibility features and space for an extra 100 passengers per train service at the busiest times of day.
The Class 717 was custom-built for the Moorgate route and is the first train fleet to be introduced in the UK using direct long-term investment from pension and insurance companies.
The completion of the Class 717 roll-out marks the conclusion of a five-year, £2bn programme that has transformed passenger journeys across GTR with more than 1,500 new carriages, turning one of the UK’s oldest fleets into one of the most modern, in what is believed to be the largest cascade of rolling stock since privatisation.
The GTR franchise has overseen the introduction of four fleets of new trains and the expansion of one other:
• 116 brand new Class 387/1 carriages (29 units) – initially used on the Thameslink network, now on Great Northern, operating as far as King’s Lynn
• 108 brand new Class 387/2 carriages (27 units) – serving Gatwick Express between Brighton, Gatwick and London Victoria
• 1,140 brand new Class 700 carriages (115 units) – serving the entire, expanded Thameslink network
• 150 brand new Class 717 carriages (25 units) – serving the Great Northern Moorgate route
• 12 Class 171 carriages (4 units) for Southern – adding to the existing fleet and facilitating the first longer 10-carriage services between Uckfield and London Bridge
This £2bn programme of modernisation, much of which formed part of the Thameslink Programme, has transformed services for our passengers. The average age of our fleet has dropped from 20.4 years to 12.5 years with a net increase of 646 vehicles.
GTR together with industry partners Siemens and Network Rail have built or upgraded new depots in Sussex and north London to house and maintain the new trains along with additional and upgraded stabling at locations including Bedford, Cricklewood, Brighton, Horsham and Cambridge.
More information on the new Class 717 fleet and the fleet cascade is available below, and especially if you are not local to the routes between Moorgate and Welwyn Garden City or Stevenage via Hertford North, we hope you find an opportunity to try the new fleet for yourself soon as there are some fabulous destinations along the routes.