A £200 million agreement to finance a new fleet of Siemens-built trains for the Great Northern route has been confirmed.
Funding for the trains, which will be built by Siemens and operated by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), will be financed by SL Capital, Aviva Investors and Rock Rail.
The 25 six-car trains, which are a variant of the Class 700 Desiro City for Thameslink, will operate commuter service out of Moorgate to Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City, via Hertford and Stevenage.
Although the trains will be built in Germany, the new fleet, like the Class 700, will use a network of UK suppliers.
Made up of 150 new vehicles, the fleet will replace GTR’s Class 313s.
GTR Chief Executive Officer Charles Horton said: “We are delighted to have secured the financing for this new fleet which will give our passengers on Great Northern’s suburban routes a modern, high-quality environment which is light years ahead of what we have been able to offer to date with the current 40-year-old stock.
“And when we bring the Moorgate trains online we’ll also increase the frequency of services considerably in the off-peak and at weekends and even, to a lesser degree, in the morning and evening peaks.
“The trains make up just one of three major fleets we are introducing which will steadily improve services and drive up passenger satisfaction.”