A fleet of trains that were originally ordered for South West Trains (SWT) but are no longer required are to start appearing on Southeastern lines following a recent refurbishment.
The Class 707 Desiro City trains are made by Siemens and in 2014, SWT ordered 30 5-car units. However, when SWT lost its franchise in 2017, its successor FirstGroup/MTR, which operates as South Western Railway decided to switch its trains to Class 701 Aventras.
The fleet of Class 707 trains, actually owned by the train leasing company, Angel Trains, have been refurbished from SWT’s red livery to Southeastern’s blue and will be replacing some of Southeastern’s older ‘Networker’ trains.
Southeastern has received six Class 707 trains since January, which are being used for maintenance and driver training, as well as station compatibility tests. The next two 5-car trains are expected to be delivered in July 2021.
The start of a preview service this autumn will be followed by the full service in 2022, mainly on Metro services to London from Dartford, Hayes and Sevenoaks.
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.