The first new train for Crossrail has operated in passenger service today for the first time between Liverpool Street Station in the City of London and Shenfield in Essex, a month later than expected.
The new trains known as the ‘Class 345’ train will slowly be rolled out and is due to replace all of the ageing trains on the current route between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, the route is currently known as ‘TfL Rail’ however it will become a part of the Elizabeth Line from 2019. From May 2018 TfL will also take over the line between Paddington & Heathrow Airport currently operated by Heathrow Connect (Heathrow Express between Heathrow Central & Heathrow Terminal 4) and the new trains will also be introduced onto that line.
The trains have been undergoing testing since the first train was delivered to London in December 2016. The trains have also been building up their miles by being driven between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria Stations. The new trains will initially be seven cars long from their introduction on TfL Rail but once all platforms works are complete in 2019 all trains on all Elizabeth Line routes will be nine cars long. The new trains will also be fully air conditioned and have on-board WiFi as well as useful real time information screens throughout all of the walk-through carriages.
The line will be renamed the Elizabeth Line when the central section of the route from Paddington (Elizabeth Line) to Abbey Wood opens in December 2018 however the line won’t be joined up to the Liverpool Street – Shenfield route until May 2019 and the Paddington (Mainline) – Heathrow Airport route until December 2019 when trains will also operate to Maidenhead and Reading.
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