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South West Trains one step closer to 108-train fleet extension

The £65m South West Trains roll-out of 108 new carriages is now three-quarters complete, with 81 extra carriages already running on the network.

The refurbished carriages already in place have provided space for more than 17,000 additional passengers during the peak.

By early next year the company expects to introduce the remaining carriages funded via the government’s High Level Output Specification Programme (HLOS).

The refurbished Class 458/5s and 456s are equipped with full CCTV, new flooring, wider doors and improved seating, according to the company.

Class 458/5 services are running on the Windsor line and Class 456 services run to Guildford, Woking, Dorking and Hampton Court.

class 458-5 before and afterClass 458-5 train in London Waterloo, before and after refurbishment

Christian Roth, engineering director for South West Trains, said: “It is excellent news that the vitally important roll out of 108 additional carriages to our network is now 75% complete. These new carriages are not only providing much more space for passengers on many of our busiest services, they also include significantly improved facilities too.

“On average, we are introducing one new carriage every week and by early next year all 108 carriages will be in service for passengers.”

The carriages were refurbished at Wabtec’s depots in Doncaster and Loughborough and tested at the Wimbledon traincare depot.

RTM visited Wabtec’s Doncaster depot in April 2013 to see the refurbishment and conversion of the first 60 trains in the 108-train deal.

Class 458-5 refurbishmentClass 458-5 undergoing refurbishment at Wabtec's Doncaster depot

The company’s planned upgrades are part of the biggest investment made to the network since the 1930s.

A total of 250 new carriages will be introduced by 2018, providing 30% more space for passengers.

Part of this deal comprises a £210m order for 150 new Class 707 Desiro carriages manufactured by Siemens and leased from Angel Trains.

The 30 new five-carriage trains, to begin arriving in 2017 and be fully introduced by early 2018, will provide for more than 18,000 extra peak-time passengers travelling into London Waterloo by 2018.

The expansion investment also includes works to lengthen platforms 1-4 at London Waterloo during 2017 to allow longer, 10-car trains to operate on the suburban network. Other platforms at more than 60 stations have already been lengthened.

Top banner image c. Aubrey Morandarte


Lutz   07/08/2015 at 20:19

It was clearly a mistake to go through this process, when new trains from Siemens would have provided a better product and a more timely delivery. This project is an utter failure due to it's lateness and the inferior product. We should not have to put up with this when our fares are subsidising other areas that get new kit.

Andrew Gwilt   07/08/2015 at 23:55

As Southwest Trains Class 458's that are to be renumbered from 458/0's to 458/5's as they are to be converted into 5-car trains which also means that the brand new Class 707's Siemens Desiro City are scheduled to be built in 2017 and the Siemens Desiro Class 444's will go as far as Southampton Central and Portsmouth Harbour with Class 450's to be used on other routes including to Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth and other services including Aldershot, Alton, Liphook, Basingstoke and Dorking and the Class 707's once built are to be operated between London Waterloo-Staines and Reading and the Class 458/5's to operate between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside once the conversion is completed and renumbered as Class 458/5's.

David Walker   11/08/2015 at 11:39

Hardly able to raise much sympathy with Lutz moaning that his modern EMU fleet has been lengthened by 25%. If he wants to see what others "have to put up with" that "our fares are subsidising" then I suggest a trip up North for the delights of a trip on a Pacer!

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