Class 700 deliveries 75% complete

THREE quarters of the Class 700 Thameslink fleet had been delivered by the beginning of December, with 85 of the 115 sets ordered in the UK.

The mix of eight- and 12-car sets is already transforming Thameslink services, but their arrival has not been without difficulties.

Two Littlehampton to London Bridge services became part of the Thameslink operation from December 11, the first timetabled workings by that TOC along the Coastway West lines. On a cold and wet winter morning Class 700 No. 700143 pauses at Goring-by-Sea, forming the very first such train, the 05.52 from Littlehampton. JOHN VAUGHAN

Initial deliveries of sets have suffered reliability problems, which in many cases have been traced to computer software faults, these trains relying substantially on computer control.

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The sets have also had other small modifications, but their advanced design and control will mean all will be installed with a revised version of software, which should increase reliability.

Acceptance of the new sets is slightly behind schedule, the software being the main cause, but this should be back on track by the end of January.

Read more in January’s issue of The RM – on sale now!

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