The plan to introduce a £210 million fleet of brand new trains for South West Trains (SWT) passengers has passed an important milestone. Construction of the first Siemens-built Class 707 Desiro City trains is now underway with the main body of the train created and assembled.
This marks the first stage of development for the new trains which will run between London Waterloo and Windsor, improving passenger facilities and increasing space for passengers on some of the busiest services in the country.
All design work for the £210 million fleet of 30 five-carriage trains has been finished and the first unit is 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 Wimbledon depot in time to start passenger service in June 2017.
During this time, all units will be extensively tested to ensure reliability and provide SWT staff the opportunity to train on the new trains and become familiar with the new systems before they enter passenger service. It is expected that all of the new fleet will be delivered by the end of 2017.
The new Desiro City trains will significantly increase space for passengers and improve the on-board facilities. They feature state-of-the-art technology, are lighter than existing fleets and are much more energy efficient. The trains also feature 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.
The new trains will boost capacity for SWT passengers, allowing more than 18,000 extra passengers to travel in and out of London Waterloo during the busiest times of the day. When they are introduced, it will allow other existing SWT trains to be moved to other parts of the network – increasing capacity on other key routes.
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.”
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of combined cycle turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal year 2014, which ended on September 30, 2014, Siemens generated revenue from continuing operations of €71.9 billion and net income of €5.5 billion. At the end of September 2014, the company had around 357,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.
About South West Trains
South West Trains is one of Europe's busiest commuter train operators, running around 1700 trains a day out of London Waterloo covering routes through Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and Great London, serving a mixture of commuters and longer-distance travellers. More than half a million passengers use South West Trains services every day. Island Line services on the Isle of Wight are also operated by South West Trains
About Angel Trains
Angel Trains is one of Britain’s leading train leasing companies and has been an owner and lessor of rolling stock since 1994. The company leases to all 19 franchised operators and two open access operators in the UK. Angel Trains is passionate about financing and delivering high quality, modern assets to its customers and is committed to working with the Government, the Rail Delivery Group ("RDG") and other stakeholders to provide innovative funding solutions to modernise and improve the UK's train fleet. Angel Trains has invested £3.5 billion in new rolling stock and refurbishment programmes since 1994 and is one of the largest private investors in the industry.