Construction begins on Class 707 Desiro City fleet for South West Trains
29 October 2015 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Work on the first vehicle in a fleet of Siemens-built Class 707 Desiro City EMUs for South West Trains (SWT) is now in production with the main body of the train created and assembled.
The £210 million agreement will see 30 five-carriage trains enter service on the line between London Waterloo and Windsor. Introduction of the new fleet will improve on-board facilities and increase passenger space on one of the busiest route in the country. The vehicles will provide a light and airy, air-conditioned environment, better on-board train information systems and free passenger WiFi. They also have ‘open gangways’ meaning passengers can both see through and walk the length of the train much more easily.
Class 707 Desiro City fleet will boost capacity by an extra 18,000 passengers
The Class 707 Desiro City fleet will boost capacity by an extra 18,000 passengers during peak periods in and out of London Waterloo. Once implemented, South West Trains plans to move existing rolling stock to other parts of the network increasing capacity on other key routes.
With the design phase complete, construction on the Class 707 fleet will forge ahead with the first train expected to be built by the end of February 2016. The first new train will then begin testing in May 2016 before being delivered by leasing company Angel Trains to SWT’s Wimbledon depot in time to begin passenger services in June 2017. Throughout the rigorous testing period, SWT staff will have the opportunity to prepare for service on the new trains and become familiar with the new systems before the entire fleet enters passenger operation at the end of 2017.
Commenting on progress, Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director, Rail Systems at Siemens, said: “The start of manufacture for a new fleet of trains is always an exciting milestone. It gives a sense of real progress to a project that up until now has lived on paper, technical drawings and computer.
“We are now turning the designs into reality and drawing closer to the next key milestone, the first complete train running around our test track before the ultimate goal, delivering new, spacious and comfortable trains that really improve the passenger experience.”
Christian Roth, Engineering Director for South West Trains, added: “The introduction of the brand new Class 707 Desiro City trains is an absolutely crucial part of our plans to provide the biggest increase in capacity on this network for decades. When delivered, these new trains will provide a major increase in spaces for passengers as well as much improved facilities, including better accessibility and free WiFi.
“We are delighted manufacturing is now underway and look forward to welcoming the first units to the UK.”
Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Angel Trains, said: “With significant population growth it is essential that London’s transport network can adapt to meet the capital’s current and future needs. Angel Trains is committed to investment in London’s rail network and we are delighted to be working with Siemens and Stagecoach South Western Trains to procure and lease this new fleet of new Class 707s which will bring much needed additional capacity and an improved passenger experience to the system from next year. ”