The first of South Western Railway’s (SWR) fleet of new suburban trains has arrived on the network ahead of a full programme of testing beginning next month.
The 10-car Class 701 train is the first of 90 new trains which will be used on the Reading, Windsor and South West London suburban line in and out of Waterloo.
SWR awarded the £895 million contract for 60 ten-car and 30 five-car trains to replace its older fleet, and increase rush-hour capacity on the line by 46 percent.
Stabled at Eastleigh, the first train to arrive will be commissioned as part of Bombardier’s network testing regime to gain Office for Road and Rail (ORR) certification for full passenger usage ahead of the fleet being introduced later this year.
Next month, SWR’s full programme of testing is also expected to get underway.
SWR will assess new systems specifically designed for the Class 701 trains, including new communications systems, regenerative braking and onboard features like Wi-Fi and at-seating charging points. They also include toilets, a bit of a rarity on these suburban lines.
Further trains from the fleet are expected to arrive over the coming weeks and months from Bombardier as the next phase of testing gathers pace ahead of the Class 701s eventual introduction.
When they come into use later this year, the trains will be based at the new depot being built at Feltham.