British Rail Class 717

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British Rail Class 717 Desiro City
717009 OKL.jpg
717009 at Oakleigh Park in 2019
GTR Class 717 Interior.jpg
The interior of a Class 717
In service28 September 2018 – present
ManufacturerSiemens Mobility
Built atKrefeld, Germany
Family nameDesiro City
ReplacedClass 313
Number built25 trainsets
Formation6 carriages per unit
Operator(s)Great Northern
Depot(s)Hornsey EMU depot
Line(s) servedEast Coast Main Line
Hertford Loop Line
Northern City Line
Train length121.7 m (399 ft 3 in)[1]
Car length20.2 m (66 ft)
Width2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
Maximum speed85 mph (137 km/h)[2]
Weight204 t (201 long tons; 225 short tons)[1]
Power output1,200 kW (1,600 hp) (at wheel)[1]
Acceleration0.85 m/s2 (2.8 ft/s2)[1]
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC Catenary
750 V DC Third rail
Current collection methodPantograph (AC)
Contact shoe (DC)
UIC classificationBo'Bo'+2'2'+2'2'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'+
Safety system(s)ETCS (B3MR1[3])
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Sources : Desiro City (Class 717) data sheet
Except where noted

The British Rail Class 717 Desiro City[6] is an electric multiple unit passenger train built by Siemens Mobility, currently operated by Govia Thameslink Railway on its Great Northern Hertford Loop and Welwyn stopping routes. Built to replace Class 313 trains on services into Moorgate, a total of 25 six-car units began entering regular service from March 2019.[7][8]


Upon winning the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) announced that it would seek to replace the existing Class 313 units (which were 40 years old in 2016) operating on services to and from Moorgate, with up to 25 six-car units intended to be procured.[9] In December 2015, GTR announced that it had selected Siemens to provide this new fleet, originally designated Class 713,[10] as a follow-on order from the main Class 700 order, with entry into service expected from March 2019.[11] The order was finalised in February 2016.[12][13]

A significant difference between Class 717s and the earlier Class 700s is the provision of fold-down emergency doors at both ends of each train. These are required for emergency evacuation of passengers[6] while inside the deep-level Moorgate tunnels.[14]

Siemens began testing the Class 717 units in Germany during June 2018.[15]


The first unit operated a single preview service in late September 2018, with gradual introduction from the spring of 2019.[16] The final Class 313 service on Great Northern ran in September 2019, completing the fleet replacement by Class 717 units.[17]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per unit Unit nos.
Class 717 Great Northern 25 2018 6 717001–717025

Great Northern Class 717

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Desiro City Class 717 Electrical Multiple Units for Govia Thameslink Railway" (PDF) (Leaflet). Munich: Siemens Mobility GmbH. Article No. MOML-T10055-00-7600.
  2. ^ "Cab. 717003. Wildenrath. Germany. 2.5.18". Paul Bigland. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Digital signalling for East Coast main line tested on Thameslink". Rail Insider. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Siemens Desiro City Moorgate (Class 717): Derogation for a Project at an Advanced Stage of Development" (letter). London: Department for Transport. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Side view of leading bogie. 717012. Wildenrath. Germany. 2.5.18". Paul Bigland. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "New Govia Thameslink Railway trains to be Class 717s". RAIL magazine. RAIL magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Great Northern Class 717s finally enter passenger service".
  8. ^ "New Trains for Moorgate services". Great Northern. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Thameslink Franchise operator announced". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Siemens Desiro City Brochure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Siemens selected to supply Moorgate suburban EMU fleet". Railway Gazette. Railway Gazette. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  12. ^ "GTR strikes £200m-plus deal for new train fleet serving City of London". Siemens UK. Siemens UK. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Letter from GTR to MP Mark Prisk" (PDF).
  14. ^ Network Rail (3 June 2017). London North Eastern Route Sectional Appendix LOR 105 Seq 001. Module LNE1. p. 41. NR30018/02.
  15. ^ "Testing begins on GTR's new Class 717s in Germany".
  16. ^ "New Great Northern Class 717 carries first passengers".
  17. ^ "1,514 brand new vehicles as GTR completes £2 billion fleet cascade". Retrieved 12 May 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]