Crossrail Gets its First Trains on the Track

Elizabeth Line Train (RTM magazine)Crossrail, which will run from Reading in the west and across London to Shenfield in the east - with a branch to Abbey Wood in North Kent - is to be officially named the Elizabeth Line.

The first trains were introduced into service last month on the line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield and are first instalment of the 66-strong fleet of Class 345s to operate in the capital.

By autumn 2017, 11 trains will be running on the route.

The trains are based on Bombardier's Aventra design and feature a black front end panel and a white and purple livery. They will be the first fleet to run on Britain's mainline railways without a yellow front end since the end of steam era.

Historically, train fronts have been required to have a yellow panel to ensure they are visible because in the 1950s diesel and electric trains were found to be far quieter than steam. However headlamp technology has improved since then, meaning modern state-of-the-art fleets do not necessarily need to be painted brightly.

Instead, companies owning and operating fleets are now responsible for ensuring carriages are sufficiently visible by conducting a risk assessment involving all affected parties before new colours are implemented, and ensuring new and modified vehicles have the right arrangement of headlamps in line with legal requirements.

Because of these requirements, the yellow front end panel remains "a must" for trains without the new arrangement of headlamps and the the yellow panel is also still provided for in the new standard where companies find this to be good practice.