Transport Tech 

Upcoming Crossrail trains will get customers online when they’re on the line

The trains for the UK’s new Crossrail rail link have been unveiled. They will be over one-and-a-half times as long as London’s longest Tube train and will accommodate 1,500 passengers. Features will include regenerative braking, intelligent lighting and temperature systems, and free Wi-Fi and 4G access.

The 118-km (73-mile) Crossrail route is said to be Europe’s biggest construction project, boasting 10 new stations and 42 km (26 miles) of new tunnels. Tunneling was completed earlier this year and much of the excavated 6 million tonnes (6.6 million tons) of material has been used to develop the Wallasea Island nature reserve in Essex. The project still has a number of milestones to deliver, though, such as fitting out stations, the completion of above-ground works and, of course, the roll-out of the new trains.

Designed by Transport for London (TfL), Bombardier and Barber & Osgerby, the 200-m (656-ft) trains will be driver-operated and will comprise nine fully-interconnected walk-through carriages. TfL says they are to be built of strong and lightweight materials, such as aluminum for the body shell. It also says they will be faster than the trains they will replace, while using up to 30 percent less energy as a result of their regenerative braking.

Boarding and alighting will be made quicker and easier by virtue of large, clear areas around the doors. Once aboard, passengers have a choice of both metro-style and bay seating. There will be four dedicated wheelchair spaces on each train, as well as a number of multi-use spaces for items like strollers and luggage. Passengers will be able plan their onward journeys using real-time travel information displayed by on-board info systems and will also benefit from free Wi-Fi and access to 4G.

The interior design and color scheme of the trains is said to have been chosen to provide “an accessible and welcoming environment.” The design makes use of darker floors and natural finish materials that will “wear in, and not wear out,” as well as light colored ceilings that are aimed at providing a sense of spaciousness.

The new trains are scheduled to enter service from May 2017, with the full Crossrail route due to be operational from 2019.


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