New train designs for Thameslink Programme to go on display in Stevenage and Hitchin

The train model is being displayed in Stevenage and Hitchin

The train model is being displayed in Stevenage and Hitchin - Credit: Archant

There’s light at the end of the tunnel for First Capital Connect passengers travelling along the Great Northern route.

As part of a Government-sponsored £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme, 115 state-of-the-art high capacity trains are being built with the first expected to enter service in 2016.

It will mean that by 2018 there is expected to be 40% more carriages from Hitchin into London King’s Cross in the morning peak with approximately 15% more seats, and 20% more carriages during the same period from Stevenage – with 10% more seats.

Off-peak, the number of trains travelling between Hitchin, Stevenage and London King’s Cross is expected to double.

Passengers at Stevenage Railway Station will be able to see models and videos of the new Class 700 trains between 3.30pm-8pm tomorrow (Wednesday), as well as speak to the First Capital Connect project team.

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The exhibition moves to Hitchin Railway Station at the same time on Thursday.

The new trains are 25% lighter and up to 50% more energy efficient than previous generations, and will be able to operate automatically across central London at up to 24 trains per hour.

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First Capital Connect managing director David Statham said: “Our services are some of the most crowded in Britain and this new fleet will give us more trains, more carriages and more capacity which our passengers desperately need. We want our passengers to see what they will be travelling in and hear how they are going to transform their journeys.”

For more information about the project visit

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