Siemens’ Desiro City to be New Thameslink Rolling Stock


Rail Magazine are reporting that Siemens have won the race to supply the new Thameslink Rolling Stock, beating out Bombardier.

Both Alstom and Hitachi exited the rolling stock race early, leaving Siemens and Bombardier to fight it out for what will likely prove to be a rather lucrative contract. Both suppliers offered up modified versions of existing rolling stock – Bombardier’s Electrostars and Siemens’ Desiros – and ultimately it is to Siemens that the DfT have turned.

The Desiro City is a lighter version of the existing Desiro model, with wider doorways and greater passenger capacity. Siemens claim it will also feature adaptive air conditioning within the carriages, which will adjust temperature based on carriage passenger levels.

Siemens’ concept shots of the Desiro City in FCC colours

This deal represents a major success for Siemens beyond simply the size of the contract. They have indicated before that they see the Desiro City as a key part of their push within Britain for rolling stock contracts, and this represents the first vindication of that approach.

It is also worth remembering that both Siemens and Bombardier have their eyes on the other major London prize – Crossrail’s rolling stock tender. The Thameslink tender has long been seen by many as a potential marker as to who will succeed there, as the two specifications overlap considerably (indeed there was, at one point, talk of a joint tender).

Ultimately though that tender remains up in the air, and one suspects that for now at least Siemens will be happy to celebrate what they’ve definitely got, rather than what might yet be.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.