The Anonymous Widower

And Finally!

They have been a long time coming, but today two Class 710 trains, started running on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

I took these pictures.

They certainly stand out with their large orange noses.

A few thoughts on various topics.

Doors And Controls

The doors are all double and wide as they should be for easy entry.

There are also full door controls on each side of the door and a door opening button in the door itself.

So on a crowded train, there won’t be the problem, you get on some trains, that the buttons are blocked by a large person standing in the way.

Information Displays

They are clear and very much follow the style of the displays on the Crossrail trains.

Although, they do have a clock, that seemed to be liked by other passengers and myself.

I also suspect the displays can be used advertising.


Like the Class 345 trains, they are quiet inside.


The longitudinal seats are as comfortable as those of their elder siblings; the Class 378 trains.

There are also lots of armrests.

As on those trains, passengers find their own place to put their legs and the passage up the middle of the train seems to stay free.

There are also no perches either side of the door, as in the Class 378 trains. It this to cut out canoodling?

USB Sockets

There isn’t a large number and they are only accessible from a few seats.

This picture shows the sockets on a Vivarail Class 230 train.


I think each armrest should have one.


I tested it and it worked

The Train Software

If I was designing something like a train, a tram, a bus or a car, the vehicle would have a backbone, that was compatible with the Internet.

The train software, that seems to have caused the delay could even be an operating system, like the one on your computer or phone.

In my experience, operating systems are very difficult to write, but once they are working, the following is possible.

  • They work for all compatible computers, phones or trains.
  • They can analyse the hardware to see what they’ve got connected.
  • A large team of programmers can write compatible additions, just like thousands write apps for mobile devices.

I also believe that testing operating systems work as they should is one of the most difficult things to do in computing.

I don’t believe that the delay to the Class 710 trains because of software problems has been overly long in my experience.

Complex systems just take an awful long time to get write.

The good news though, is that if Bombardier have got their design right, they may well have cracked the computer systems for all other Aventras.


They tick a lot of boxes and I like the design.

I also feel that if Bombardier have solved the software problems, then Aventras could be delivered in a steady stream.


May 23, 2019 - Posted by | Computing, Transport/Travel | , ,


  1. I suppose they might become known as the ” Orangatrains !”

    I suppose the longitudinal seats will attract same complaints as on Class 378 but Overground is just like the Underground re length of journeys and you can still see out the window opposite!

    However, if the Overground does expand to longer routes whether mixed seats as found on Crossrail and Metropolitan Line S Stock might be used . With longer routes gaining the TFL Rail category especially those that extend outside London?

    Comment by Melvyn | May 23, 2019 | Reply

  2. I often refer to the Overground as The Big Orange! This in turn refers to the defunct US airline called Braniff, who had an orange jumbo. Inevitably, it was called the Big Orange. I flew it once from London to Dallas.

    Where the longitudinal seating really works is with lots of passengers. Travel in a Metropolitan Line train to and from a big event at Wembley

    Comment by AnonW | May 23, 2019 | Reply

  3. A Class 710 train arrived at platform 1 at Barking Station tonight at about 17.10 just after a class 378 had left just after 17.00 and I noticed a new 710 from my District Line train just leaving Barking about 16.45. So while a full service every ,15 minutes is not yet possible it looks like TFL may be running trains at this frequency during rush hours?

    Comment by Melvyn | May 24, 2019 | Reply

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