Southeastern is preparing its new fleet of Class 707 trains to enter service in the autumn of 2021 and boost capacity on the Metro routes from Dartford, Sevenoaks and Hayes into London terminals.
These modern, spacious, and air-conditioned trains will deliver a significant improvement in the passenger experience on the busier London routes, replacing a small number of Southeastern’s older Class 465 and Class 466 ‘Networker’ trains.
The start of the preview service in the autumn will be followed by the full service in 2022 – when a sufficient number of trains have transferred from South Western Railway (SWR), refreshed, deep-cleaned and updated ready for use on the Southeastern network.
Southeastern has already received six Class 707 trains, with two more due for delivery in July. They are being housed at Ashford, Grove Park and Slade Green depots and are being used for maintenance and driver training, as well as station compatibility tests.
Owned by Angel Trains, the Class 707 fleet was originally procured for South West Trains (SWT), with the first entering service on routes in south west London in 2017. However, with SWT choosing to run a unified fleet of Derby-built Class 701 trains across its network, the Class 707 units, only a few years old, became surplus to requirements. Southeastern has now taken them on for its Metro routes.
While some of Southeastern’s older Class 465 and 466 ‘Networker’ trains will be replaced as a result of the incoming Class 707 fleet, the vast majority of this fleet will be retained. The redundant rolling stock will be sent off-lease for storage.
David Statham, managing director at Southeastern, said: “Bringing in modern, reliable trains with more space is an important part of the work we are doing to encourage people back to rail travel.
“Following a great effort by everyone across the railway, I’m very pleased to confirm that our new trains are getting set to carry passengers later this year.
“The Class 707 represents a big investment in our train fleet and I’m really looking forward to welcoming our customers aboard.”
Sambit Banerjee, managing director of rolling stock and customer services for Siemens Mobility Limited said: “We were delighted to see the Siemens Mobility Class 707s moving over to their new home at Southeastern. It has been a great collaborative effort since then between Siemens Mobility and Southeastern operational teams to get the trains ready for service, which has continued throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.
“We look forward to supporting passengers travelling into London from the South East on comfortable, air-conditioned trains and continuing our great partnership with Southeastern.”