The Anonymous Widower

By Class 700 Train To Brighton And Back

Today, I went to Brighton for lunch and a walk on the promenade to get some October sun.

I hadn’t intended to go to Brighton, but just to take the short route across London from St. Pancras to East Croydon, to see if any Class 700 trains were working the route.

However a Brighton-bound Class 700 turned up and just before East Croydon station, the conductor turned up and he offered to sell me an extension ticket to Brighton for £9.95.

So why not? As the day was sunny, I accepted his offer and as he didn’t have the right change of 5p for a tenner, he gave me 10p. in change.

Perhaps, Govia Thameslink Railway’s conductors are doing a PR job to enhance their reputation.

These pictures detail the journey.

Because the journeys were deep in the Off Peak, the trains weren’t that busy.

I would describe the trains as adequate for the core route from East Croydon to West Hampstead and Finsbury Park, but they do have limitations for long-distance commuters.

  • There are no tables or even anywhere to put a drink.
  • There is no wi-fi.
  • There are no power sockets to charge a laptop or phone.

The new Class 345 trains for Crossrail, don’t have tables either, but they do have wi-fi. But these are short-distance trains and unlike the Class 700 trains, which are taking over from Class 387 trains with tables, most of previous stock that worked from Reading to Shenfield didn’t have tables, wi-fi or power sockets.

Govia Thameslink Railway must be really pleased to get a set of trains, without some of the features their passengers demand.

To be fair it’s not their fault, as these trains were designed to fit a Passenger Focus report which can be found on the Internet, that was written in the dying days of the last Labour Government.

Read the document and draw your own conclusions.

However, all is nor lost!

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled Class 707 Breaks Cover and it describes the Class 707 train, which is a sister train to the Class 700. This is said about the two trains and wi-fi and toilets.

Thameslink (or the Department for Transport which ordered the trains) decided not to include Wi-Fi in the Class 700s, a questionable decision that has now apparently been reversed. Fortunately, Siemens had included the technology framework in the design so, hopefully, the upgrade will not require too much effort. Suffice it to say that South West Trains has included Wi-Fi in its specification for Class 707s.

Reversing the story, Thameslink Class 700s are all fitted with toilets. However, South West Trains has decided not to include toilets in its Class 707 specification given that the longest journey time is less than one hour and their inclusion would reduce the overall capacity of the trains.

So it appears that Siemens may have future-proofed the trains. To this end, when they certify the Class 707 train, they’ll certify the train for overhead electrification as well.

Looking at the way the seats are cantilevered from the side of the train, I suspect that Siemens might also have a table design in their box of delights.

I think you might have a very different usage of the trains throughout the day.

Obviously, in the Peak, the trains will be very full, but during the Off Peak, where there are obviously less passengers, perhaps a couple of tables per car, might prove to be a nice marketing feature to encourage travel.

We shall see what happens, but I can certainly see some improvement carried out to these trains in the next few years.




October 10, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,


  1. […] Their Class 700 trains have been designed without wi-fi, 4G and power-sockets as I said in By Class 700 Train To Brighton And Back. […]

    Pingback by Will Crossrail And Its Class 345 Trains Will Set Mobile Connection Standards For The UK? « The Anonymous Widower | October 11, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] In By Class 700 Train To Brighton And Back, I said this. […]

    Pingback by Where Are All The Class 700 Trains? « The Anonymous Widower | April 3, 2017 | Reply

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