TfL and Britain's Department for Transport (DfT) selected Bombardier in February 2014 for a £1bn contract to supply 66 nine-car 25kV 50Hz trains, with an option for 18 extra sets. Each 200m-long set will accommodate around 1500 passengers.
The air-conditioned trains will be equipped with full-width gangways, 4G and passenger Wi-Fi . Each train will have four dedicated wheelchair spaces and multi-functional areas to accommodate pushchairs and luggage.
London-based design agency Barber & Osgerby acted as design advisors on the project. The interior design includes darker floors and natural finish materials, which are designed to "wear in and not wear out, ensuring they retain their high-quality finish for years to come." At ceiling level, lighter colours are used to maximise the feeling of height and openness. Materials and colours have been chosen to reflect Crossrail's broader colour scheme, which will also be applied to stations, signage, and maps.
Production of the first vehicles is now underway at Bombardier's Derby plant and testing will be carried out on the Old Dalby test track before delivery to London.
The first trains will enter service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield in May 2017, initially operating as seven-car sets. All subsequent deliveries will be nine-car sets and the longer trains will be introduced on London Paddington - Heathrow Airport services from May 2018.
The first section of Crossrail will open between Paddington, central London, and Abbey Wood in December 2018. The Shenfield line will be connected to the Crossrail tunnels in May 2019 and the full route from Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east to Heathrow and Reading in the west will be operational by December 2019. All of the seven-car trains will be lengthened to nine cars by the end of 2019.
The fleet will be maintained by Bombardier at a purpose-built depot at Old Oak Common in west London.
A video preview of the Aventra for Crossrail can be viewed on Youtube.