X'Trapolis commuter train unveiled

16 Sep 2009 by Mark Caswell

Alstom Transport has unveiled what it is calling “a new generation commuter train for the UK”. The X’Trapolis features shorter and wider carriages, and is behind the firm’s bid for the lucrative Thameslink contract.

The new train has been based on Alstom’s fleets in Australia, Chile and Spain, incorporating technology used in the company’s high speed trains. Key to the design is the reduced number of  “bogies” (the framework incorporating the wheels of the trains), which allows the carriages to be shorter and wider, providing more space for the passenger.

The X’Trapolis also features two sets of double doors in the centre of each carriage, designed to reduce stopping times at stations on high density routes, as well as exterior displays indicating the capacity status of each carriage, and interior displays providing updates on connecting services at stations.

In addition Alstom says the X’Trapolis is “designed to respect the environment”, with the reduced number of bogies meaning energy savings due to the lighter carriages, as well as lower external and internal noise levels.

Alstom is currently bidding for the £1.4bn Thameslink contract alongside Canada’s Bombardier and Germany’s Siemens, with a deicision due to be made later this year. The new rolling stock forms part of the £5.5bn Thameslink Programme to upgrade and expand the Thameslink network, including platform extensions and station refurbishments.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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