A multi-million pound train depot which will play a part in easing commuter congestion will be up and running by the summer.
The depot, at Three Bridges, part of a £300m investment by Siemens, will house and maintain a new fleet of Class 700 Desiro City trains, which will operate on the Thameslink line from spring 2016.
Construction on a second depot, in Hornsey, is well under way.
Keith Wallace, Thameslink programme director, added: “For passengers on Brighton Mail Line services, the new depot and 700 trains will, by 2018 deliver 1,000 more seats in the morning peak, allow trains to be lengthened from eight to 12 carriages, double the number of peak direct services between Brighton and London Bridge and provide 24 trains per hour through our central London stations. This achievement will make a real difference for both commuters and leisure travellers alike and shows the value of partnership working.”
Iain Smith, programme director of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project at Siemens, said: “Three Bridges depot is of particular importance to the overall Thameslink Programme due to its role in commissioning the state-of-the-art trains. Without a working depot, we can’t fully test trains, perform maintenance or put them into service. The completion of the first depot later this year will mark a key milestone and takes us a step nearer to a transformation in service for Thameslink passengers.”