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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Bombardier completes first Crossrail body shell

Transport for London (TfL) has released an image of the first completed Crossrail Aventra body shell at Bombardier’s Litchurch Lane factory.

Bombardier is building 66 nine-car trains for Crossrail in an order worth £1 billion.

A new depot at Old Oak Common and test facility in Derby have been built to deliver and maintain the new 200-metre long trains.

The new units are due to enter passenger service from 2017.

TfL said the first body shell will be used to refine the design and the manufacturing techniques needed for the full production of the 594 carriages.

Joe Bednall, Bombardier’s project director, said: “This assembled body shell, which has progressed rapidly from a blank piece of paper through to build and test, is the first off the production line for the Crossrail project. It will first go to be tested, to validate the body shell design, before being painted and re-assembled to form the client’s cab and saloon mock up.

“The on-time completion of this new light-weight body shell design marks an important milestone in the ongoing successful delivery of the Crossrail project.”

MTR will operate the new trains across the Crossrail route, from Reading in the west to Abbey Wood in the east.

The operator said all in all it would employ around 1,100 staff, including around 400 drivers.


  1. Bombardier has got a lot of work to do to build 65 new Class 345 trains for Crossrail with this new body shell is just the beginning plus Bombardier are to build 27 Class 387/2’s for Gatwick Express, 8 Class 387/3’s for Great Western Railway with 29 Class 387/1’s to be cascaded to GWR once the Class 700/1 & 700/2 trains are built and are in service on Thameslink and The London Overground’s Aventra trains are soon to be built with 8 operating the Gospel Oak-Barking/Barking Riverside line once electrification is completed, 39 operating the Lea Valley lines between Liverpool Street-Cheshunt, Enfield Town & Chingford and 1 operating the Romford-Upminster branch line.

    • I do wonder if the Class 387/3’s get built as Aventra IPEMUs,, rather than as Class 387 IPEMUs, that they are rumoured to be. All Aventras will have a plug-in capability to if needed fit energy storage devices. I do wonder if the 8 for the Gospel Oak to Barking might be Aventra IPEMUs as that would allow the electrification to be done in a more relaxed and less disruptive way. Current plans to close the line in two parts would probably be a way to organise chaos in a lot of North London.

      The Aventra IPEMU could turn out to be a game-changer that gets Network Rail out of a hole on electrification.

      It would be so much easier to do a lot of the work in a dry warm factory in Derby, rather than exposed on a high viaduct somewhere.

    • No there’s only 30 Aventras allocated to the Lea Valley Lines, but along with the eight new units for Gospel Oak-Barking there will be six more units based at Willesden to operate the Watford DC lines.


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