5 Aug 2011

Siemens ugly duckling

How has the Siemens train for Thameslink come to end up looking like this? Of more concern for the passengers is that it looks like a rehash of the wretched class 319 units that have plagued the route since it opened in the late 1980s, with windows and doors in precisely the same positions, and complete with unglazed sliding door pockets.

This practically guarantees either that loading and unloading will be slow or that there will be insufficient, and/or cramped seating - and on a route where passengers may be on the train for an hour or more.

And what is the reason for the sharp curvature of the bodyside at floor level? This cannot be necessary in order to clear the loading gauge, because there are projecting steps at each doorway. The main effect of this curvature is to reduce further the limited width available at floor level, an inconvenience that will probably be compounded by fitting ducts at skirting level.

This train appears to perpetuate the general trend in British rolling stock design - that each generation of trains is worse than the one before.

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