Southeastern has set out its latest plans for the refurbishment and upgrade of its train fleet, with a focus on improving reliability, sustainability and passenger comfort.
The train operator, serving south-east London, Kent and parts of East Sussex, will have completed the introduction of its Class 707 ‘City Beam’ trains in its Metro area by December, with six of the final 12 trains (out of 30 in total) already in service. These modern, air-conditioned trains are part of Southeastern’s drive to provide a better, more reliable and sustainable railway.
The Class 375 upgrade is due to complete in March 2024 with the Class 395 ‘Javelin’ refurbishment also underway, with two out of 29 trains upgraded. These trains are receiving a full interior refresh including new carpets and seats, USB at-seat charging, a CCTV system upgrade, a live passenger information system (PIS) upgrade including media screens (from 2024) and new LED lighting (from 2025).
Mark Johnson, Southeastern’s engineering director, said: “The upgrade of our train fleet is just one aspect of our drive towards a better, more reliable and more sustainable railway.
“Our Class 707 ‘City Beam’ trains are lighter, with open, accessible interiors including two wheelchair spaces every five carriages, plus bigger windows flooding the train with light. The air-conditioned carriages with improved ventilation and heating will mean a more pleasant travelling environment whatever the time of year.
“They’re also smarter trains, with better on-board information showing space available in each carriage, plus free Wi-Fi and handy plug sockets so you can keep charged up and connected”.
In addition, work continues on the procurement process Southeastern started in November 2022 for a future train fleet that could operate in both its Metro area and some mainline routes.
The company also confirmed that with the introduction of the new trains to the network has meant that an equivalent number of Class 465 and Class 466 ‘Networkers’ dating from the 1990s have been removed from service. These trains will be placed into storage when not needed by Southeastern.
Photo Credit: Southeastern Railway