Richard Westcott driving a Crossrail train
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Driving a Crossrail train

Britain's train manufacturer, Bombardier in Derby, has unveiled the new train that will go on London's brand new Elizabeth line.

In total, a fleet of 66 trains will be introduced from May 2017 when the first stage of the £15bn project, also known as Crossrail, opens to the public. A million passengers a day will use the line.

Building the fleet was a huge boost for Bombardier's UK factory after its future was thrown into doubt five years ago when it lost out on the multi-billion pound Thameslink contract.

"This project is vitally important to the future of this company," says Bombardier's vice-president Peter Doolin. "Morale was very low [after losing out on Thameslink] so it was important that we acted positively."

The new class 345 trains will begin their service above ground, between Liverpool Street in London and Shenfield in Essex, before the whole line opens in 2018.

On board, they are like large tube trains, with the seats down the side and the carriages opened up for people to walk through.

Bombardier says the lightweight design means they'll use 30% less electricity. Each unit will be built in Derby, supporting 760 jobs and 80 apprenticeships.

London's Transport Commissioner Mike Brown say investing billions in a new rail line makes an unambiguous statement after the Brexit vote: "The key message is, London is still open for business.

"This demonstrates that we are continuing to support the growth of London for new businesses."

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