Bombardier is now well into the delivery phase of its order for 29 four-car Electrostar trains for the new Govia Thameslink franchise.

Around half of the ordered trains have been built and the first three have completed testing and have been transferred to Brighton Lovers Walk depot ready to be handed over to the operator. Services using the new trains, which will replace Class 319 vehicles on the Bedford to Brighton route, will commence next month.

At the same time, the new operator has confirmed that it is exercising an option on the contract to purchase a further 27 trains (108 cars) for use on Gatwick Express.  These trains will have the same seating and luggage-storage arrangements but are likely to be rebranded in a red Gatwick Express livery.

There is also a second option for another 32 trains which may be taken up early next year.

One can’t help but wonder if this will be the last order for Bombardier’s Electrostar family with the new Aventra platform, as bought by Crossrail, waiting in the wings.