As many people will know, Thameslink have now started running their new train on some of the services which call at Hassocks. It is called the Class 700. Peter Gibbons has been on the train and we share some of his observations below for your information. We are grateful to Peter for his input.
1. It is possible to walk the entire length of the 12 coach train without having to pass through any internal doors or narrow passages between coaches.
2. The gangway connections between the coaches are exceptionally wide and it should be possible to push a wheelchair down the entire length of the train.
3. The information displays on the train are in colour, and very informative. The display shows the usual information regarding stops and routes; but it also shows the locations of each of five toilets on the train and whether they currently are vacant (green), occupied (red) or out of order (grey).
The display also shows the loading of each of the carriages on the train using the following colours:
Light Green - Plenty of seats
Dark Green - Approximately half the seats are occupied
Yellow - Standing room only
Orange - Coach full
1. Uncomfortable seating
2. Minimal legroom
3. An appalling lack of space for passengers’ baggage.
4. There are four normal (not wheelchair accessible), toilets distributed fairly evenly through the train. Each of the toilets has a manually-operated sliding door with a handle but no sign to say whether the door should be pushed, pulled or slid to open. There is a 5th toilet on the train which is a disabled friendly and this does have a power operated door. This is located close to the middle of the train formation.
5. There are no charging points on these trains nor do they have Wi-Fi currently (although this may be fitted in the future).
6. There are no opening windows on the trains and the air-conditioning does not seem to be terribly efficient.