The Great Northern Franchise operates trains between London and the east of England, including Cambridge, Peterborough and King’s Lynn
Since 2016 Great Northern has invested in new trains and increased services. It has doubled overall capacity on the Cambridge to London route and installed new air-conditioned trains from Cambridge to King’s Lynn.
New rolling stock
In May 2018 a Siemens team of approximately 200 people began work on delivering the manufacturing, commissioning and testing phase of a fleet of twelve newly built Class 717 Desiro City trains.
A full fleet of 25 trains is currently being phased into service on Great Northern suburban services from Welwyn Garden City, Hertford and Stevenage to and from Moorgate in the City of London. The Class 717s will replace the existing Great Northern fleet of Class 313 trains, built in the late 1970s.
The 25 six-car trains, financed by Rock Rail Moorgate, (a joint venture between Rock Rail Holdings and Aberdeen Standard Investments), represent the first fleet of trains to be introduced into the UK using a new model for financing rolling stock.
For the first time financing has been provided through direct long-term investment from pension and insurance companies.
Great Northern gave passengers a sneak preview of the new £240 million air-conditioned train fleet on 28th September.
An extra 200 services will be introduced each weekday on Thameslink and Great Northern from Monday 10th December.
There will be an additional 32 peak and 170 off-peak services operating. Additional peak services will operate across the network from Cambridge, Peterborough, Brighton, St Albans, Horsham, Rainham, Luton, Orpington, East Grinstead, Bedford and on the Wimbledon loop.