New trains for Elizabeth line as demand continues

Elizabeth line trains at Old Oak Common depot - image: Alstom

Funding has been confirmed for 10 new nine-car trains for the Elizabeth line as Transport for London (TfL) continues to see high passenger demand.

Alstom has signed a contract worth around £370m for the new Aventra trains along with associated maintenance until 2046.

The government recently confirmed funding for TfL to procure the new trains, which will be manufactured at Alstom’s UK facility in Derby

Opened in 2022, the Elizabeth line continues to experience passenger demand ahead of predictions and its current 70-strong fleet of Alstom-built Aventra Class 345 trains would be insufficient to meet demand later this decade and through the 2030s.

“We are delighted to now have a confirmed workload for Derby Litchurch Lane and our supply chain across the UK.” said Nick Crossfield, managing director UK and Ireland at Alstom.

“The UK remains one of Alstom’s most important global markets.”

The contract includes new trains which are funded by £220.5m from the Department for Transport, with TfL also contracting for the provision of train maintenance on the units until 2046.

Derby Litchurch Lane Works is Alstom’s largest manufacturing facility globally. 

The factory was opened by the Midland Railway in 1876 and the city of Derby has been building trains continually since 1839.

Last month TfL said more than 350 million journeys had been made on the Elizabeth line in its first two years – with passenger numbers set to rise further. 

The London line has become the fastest growing railway in the UK since it opened in May 2022, adding an estimated £42bn to the UK economy.

Latest figures forecast further growth in 2024/25 with passenger journeys increasing by a further 8% and journeys expected to rise to 226 million in the year.

The Elizabeth line has directly impacted the development of 55,000 new homes, with 60% of employment growth in greater London within 1km of an Elizabeth line station

During its first full year of operation, the Elizabeth line saw more than 150 million passenger journeys. 

In 2023/24, there were 210 million journeys made on the Elizabeth line, a dramatic increase. 

Passenger demand is already above the post-pandemic expectations for the end of the decade and is expected to increase further.

On average, there are around 700,000 passenger journeys on the line every weekday, with the busiest day recorded on April 18, 2024 when there were 787,000 journeys across the line.


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