The Anonymous Widower

Siemens And South West Trains Unviel The Class 707 Train

In The Aventra Car Length Puzzle, I talked about the flexibility of Bombardier’s new Aventra trains.  The first of these; Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, will hit the tracks in May 2017, when according to the September 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, they will enter service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

A month or so earlier,if all goes to plan, South West Trains will start running their new Class 707 trains, which are being built by Siemens in Germany.

This train is described in the following article in the same edition of Modern Railways.

The original in-service date of the Class 707 trains was July 2017, so having lost a bit of credibility with the late entry into service of the closely-related  Class 700 trains, are Siemens trying to beat Bombardier’s Aventra into service?

Obviously, there a lot of new trains that will be ordered in the next few years and all tricks will be employed.

Reading, the article about the Class 707 trains, three things stand out thoughtful design, flexibility and future proofing.

  • Although, the trains will be third-rail only, the first two trains will be fitted with pantographs during testing, to prove that the concept works. This means the trains could be passed to another operator in the future.
  • No toilets are fitted, but all the wiring and plumbing is there, so they can be fitted later.
  • Siemens have gone for 2+1 seating rather than longitudinal bench seating as on the Class 378 trains, because of the feet-sticking-out problem.
  • The trains fature wide open gangways.
  • The trains have air-conditioning.
  • Unlike the Class 700 trains, the trains have wi-fi.
  • The trains are full of electronics and are information-rich for passengers and drivers.

A lot of what I have said here, also applies to Bombardier’s Aventra.

This is said about the operation of Class 707 trains in Wikipedia.

The Class 707 units are intended primarily for services between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside, allowing the Class 458 trains used on those services to be cascaded back to operations to Reading, which will then allow the Class 450s to move elsewhere. The intention is to run these services, as well as others via Staines, and some mainline services to Basingstoke, as ten-car trains with pairs of Class 707s.

So the lack of an end gangway will mean that the trains can’t run as a true ten-car train.

Of the other variants of these trains; Class 700 trains are fixed formations of eight and ten cars, that won’t be working as pairs and the Class 717 trains for Great Northern will have end gangways because of the tunnels they run through.

So I wonder why, South West Trains didn’t go for five-cars with end-gangways or ten-car trains.

Interestingly, Abellio’s order of new Aventra trains for East Anglia includes a mix of five and ten car trains. Will the five-car trains be able to work as pairs and will they be gangwayed? Nothing has been announced yet!

I think the theme running through both train designs, is the customer gets the trains that best fit their method of working.

August 30, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

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