First trains of new £210m South West fleet arrive
The first trains of South West Trains’ new £210m fleet have arrived at Clapham ahead of final testing in the New Year.
The Siemens-built Class 707 Desiro City trains will accommodate approximately 11,000 passengers every weekday morning to and from London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside.
A pair of the five-carriage trains will begin testing in the New Year with the first trains expected to enter service in April 2017. The full roll-out of the fleet of 30 trains is expected to be complete by next November.
Christian Roth, managing director of South West Trains, said: “It is fantastic to see the first of our new trains arrive on our network. They are a vital part of the Waterloo & South West Upgrade, which will provide a 30% increase in capacity for passengers during the busiest times of the day.
“Our passengers may well spot the new trains travelling on our network over the coming weeks and months as we carry out the relevant testing to get them ready to carry thousands of passengers from this coming April.”
The trains will offer a range of vastly improved facilities for passengers including more space, free passenger wi-fi, a climate control system and better on-board information which can tell passengers which carriage have more space.
While Siemens have already significantly tested the trains, further testing and safety validations must be carried out on the South West Trains network. The introduction of the trains will allow the remaining South West Trains vehicles to be cascaded to other parts of the network.
The rail minister Paul Maynard said of the announcement: “I am pleased to see the first of this new fleet of trains arriving in the UK on schedule.
“They are part of the record investment the government has been making to modernise our railways. Once operational these trains will make journeys more efficient and comfortable for passengers.”
As part of the Waterloo & South West Upgrade, Network Rail is currently performing major improvement works at Waterloo to rebuild platforms 20-24 based in the former International Terminal which has faced limited domestic use since the Eurostar left in 2007. The planned upgrade will also see the Waterloo International Terminal gain a new shopping centre on its concourse.
Work to extend platforms 1-4 will also take place in August 2017 to allow suburban routes to be served by longer trains.
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