Wednesday 20 November 2019

South Western Railway Class 701 Aventra Suburban EMU Unveiled

Derby’s Bombardier has finally unveiled the new train it is building for South Western Railway as part of a deal worth almost £900 million.

The firm has launched the Class 701 Aventra, a train designed, developed and now built at its Litchurch Lane factory.

South Western Railway placed the £895 million order with Bombardier two years ago.

The deal will see the manufacturer deliver a total of 750 carriages, which will make up 90 trains. Sixty of the trains will have 10 carriages, while 30 will have five carriages.

The first trains are due to enter service by the middle of next year. It had been hoped that the Class 701 trains would have started on passenger routes this year - but Bombardier needed more time to complete software development.

 Pictures of the new 701 trains above and under construction below kindly provided
by South Western Railway

‘The new Bombardier Class 701 trains will transform journeys for our customers with benefits including on-board wi-fi, at-seat charging points, real-time information screens, air-conditioning, wide gangways and wide doors to improve the ease of boarding and alighting’, said SWR Engineering Director Neil Drury.

The 90 new trains (750 new carriages, in five and 10-car formations) will come into service operating on the Windsor, Reading and West London suburban routes and will replace Class 455, class 456, class 458 and the recently introduced class 707 trains.

SWR are planning to take out of service £200m worth of new Class 707 Desiro City trains currently being built by Siemens. The first of these arrived in the UK in December last year. 
However, the company said that they will continue to roll-out the new rolling stock, but once the Aventras are fully in place by December 2020 it will look to cascade the 707s to other parts of the network. 
He added that this falls under First MTR’s plans for a “homogenous” fleet of trains.