Deal for new Elizabeth line trains could be imminent

Talks have ramped up over a deal for additional Elizabeth line trains to help stave off closure of Alstom’s train manufacturing plant in Derby.

Up to 10 Class 345 trains may be ordered which will be needed due to HS2 cuts. The decision to curtail services to Old Oak Common rather than Euston will see thousands having to switch to the Elizabeth line to reach central London – and there isn’t enough trains to provide the capacity.

Projections see more than 50,000 passengers changing at Old Oak Common onto Elizabeth line trains to Paddington and beyond each morning rush hour, while in the afternoon almost 50,000 wold travel from central London heading west.


However the deal – if it happens – is already very late in the day. It’s long been known this crunch point was coming and it’s not only Derby itself which would see redundancies but a wide network of suppliers – and some have already closed.

It all highlights a level of poor planning from the Department for Transport which has hacked away and altered HS2 plans to “save” costs – which does anything but.

Thousands more journeys expected on Elizabeth line to HS2 services without Euston terminus

With little “guiding mind” of the wider rail network the DfT and Treasury have allowed a point to come where the UK could lose a manufacturing plant and associated skills alongside many related industries serving the Litchurch Lane site.

One upside is that any new train order will also help capacity serving branches in the east and south east on a line that’s already proven to be enormously popular.

Thousands of homes being built near Woolwich station. This proposal submitted last month

The effects are already being seen in stations such as Woolwich where government refused to fund the station, so a deal was struck splitting the cost at a “reasonable” level. It helped a station be built, but it’s already seeing overcrowding as has just one entrance/exit and limited escalators.

It also lacked passive provision for growth. Short term “savings” costing again.

Future orders

If an order of 10 trains is made – and it must be legally complaint – that will keep Derby going in the short term but 10 isn’t a huge total.

It’s possible any future Southeastern train order could sustain the plant. A tender for possible new stock to replace the 30+ year old Networkers was issued in 2022.

Networkers now well over 30 years of age

If that happens, the Networkers will be withdrawn between 35-40 years of age. But as seen elsewhere, the DfT have long lacked a strategy with SE rolling stock on Metro routes as a number of short term franchise extensions during the 2010s saw stagnation and little forward planning.

A decision is expected on SE stock later this year.


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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

2 thoughts on “Deal for new Elizabeth line trains could be imminent

  • That would make the total of 80 Class 345s on the Elizabeth Line. 80 Class 345 9-Car (345001-345080).

    Perhaps Alstom should save jobs by building and manufacturing new DC 3rd Rail trains for Southeastern to replace the Class 465 and Class 466 Networkers that are over 30 years old. And are in need of replacement.

  • If Alstom are wanting to save jobs at Derby Litchurch Lane train manufacturing plant. Then perhaps they should continue on their Aventra fleet mass production including construction on the new Aventra DC trains for Southeastern to replace the Class 465 and Class 466 Networker DC units that are 30+ years old.

    And to continue on the production of more extra Class 345 Elizabeth Line and Class 710/1 and Class 710/3 London Overground. And maybe extra Class 701 Arterio trains for South Western Railway if needed. And c2c to order few extra Class 720/6 if needed.


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