The Anonymous Widower

Southeastern’s Class 707 Trains

A few days ago, I had my first ride in one of Southeastern‘s Class 707 trains.

Other than a change of colour, they seemed little different to when they were working for South Western Railway.

Note that the orange grab-handles have been retained.

November 29, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Construction Has Started On Feltham Depot

A new depot foe electric multiple units  is being created on the site of the old Feltham Marshalling Yard.

I took these pictures as I passed on a train.

I talked about the depot before in SWR Applies To Build New London Maintenance Depot.

September 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Was It Alright On The Day?

This article in the Standard had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Furious commuters hit out at ‘shambolic’ queues on first weekday of major works.

This article on the BBC had a headline of Waterloo station: Stations quiet after upgrade warnings.

This article on the Independent had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Passengers report trains better than normal despite predictions of ‘month of chaos’.

There certainly isn’t lots of interviews on the BBC this morning with irate passengers.

This was the first paragraph from the Independent.

Commuters reported easier journeys than normal on train lines into London Waterloo on Monday morning as some passengers apparently took alternative routes or worked from home to avoid a predicted “month of chaos”.

But I think that Network Rail and South West Trains must have got it more or less right.

London thought they would have a problem during the 2012 Olympics and Transport for London flooded the streets and stations with extra staff to help passengers.

And it worked!

Network Rail and South West Trains have done the same, at least at Waterloo.

And it seems to be working!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Increasing Capacity On Waterloo Suburban Services

A new franchise is taking over the services out of Waterloo station to the South West.

There is an informative article in Rail Technology Magazine, which is entitled First MTR joint venture awarded South Western franchise.

I wrote about the suburban services in An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2.

The Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

These suburban termini and their routes are proposed  to be connected to Crossrail 2.

The times are for a typical one-way journey from Waterloo, which usually has a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).

But consider.

I would think it is highly likely that a Class 707 train could do a round trip to Chessington South, Epsom and Hampton Court stations, within an hour. For the purpose of this calculation, I’ll assume that trains to Shepperton take two hours for the round trip.

So this would mean that to execute the current 2 tph, would need the following number of five-car trains, which would work as a ten-car unit.

  • Chessington South –  2×2 = 4 trains
  • Epsom – 2×2 = 4 trains
  • Hampton Court – 2×2 =  4 trains
  • Shepperton – 4×2 = 8 trains

So a total of 20 new five-car Class 707 trains would be needed to run these four services at a frequency of 2 tph, stopping as they do now!

As they can’t do the round trip in an hour with the current stock, they need to use more trains. And drivers and depot space!

Services to Windsor and Eton Riverside

Services between Waterloo and Windsor and Eton Riverside stations currently take 54 minutes.

I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that a Class 707 train could do the round trip in two hours.

So that means that just eight trains are needed to run the ten-car 2 tph service to Windsor.

Services On The Hounslow And Kingston Loop Lines

These seem to be timed as follows.

  • Hounslow Loop – 85 minutes – 20 stops.
  • Kingston Loop – 79 minutes – 22 stops


  • The services are probably timed for 75 mph trains.
  • 100 mph Class 707 trains with a faster station-stop performance could save a minute at each stop.
  • All the platforms on the loop have only recently been updated for ten-car trains.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Class 707 trains, run round the Hounslow and Kingston Loop Lines in under an hour.

This would enable clockface services, simplify train scheduling and please passengers, signallers and the train operating company.

Other Services

There are other services that would benefit from Class 707 trains.

These are two examples of services out of Waterloo

  •  Weybridge via Hounslow and Virginia – 75 minutes – 20 stops.
  • Guildford via Epsom – 71 minutes – 17 stops

Would a Class 707 train, bring these journeys under the magic hour including a turnback?

Waterloo Station

When the former International platforms at Waterloo station has been upgraded in the Summer, it will have five new Platforms 20-24.

To gain efficient access to the new Platforms, Network Rail are replacing the Eurostar tracks, with lines that enable trains to take a sneaky quick route in and out of Platforms 20-24.

These pictures show the lines going from Platforms 1 and 2 at Vauxhall station to the former Eurostar Platforms.

It looks like when it’s finished Platform 1 at Vauxhall will be the up platform towards Waterloo and Platform 2 will be the down platform.

Currently Platform 2 at Vauchall seems to handle services that come through Putney and Clapham Junction stations, with services going the other way using Platform 3.

According to Services in the Wikipedia entry for Putney station, typical off-peak service at  the station is.

This means that there are 12 tph in both directions from Putney to Waterloo via Clapham Junction and Vauxhall.

It does look that after all the work is finished, these services will go into the rebuilt Platforms 20-24.

Will the various services be given their own platforms in Waterloo?

It would be a  way of increasing passenger throughput in the station at busy times, as commuters would know that their trains always used the same platform. Simple and efficient!

It could be done with all services and I think this is done to a certain extent now.


South West Trains new fleet of thirty Class 707 trains is sized to run the services to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court, Shepperton and Windsor and still leave a couple of spares for breakdowns and maintenance.

This calculation shows that you can sometimes replace a large number of 75 mph trains with a significantly smaller number of 100 mph units and still attain the same service frequency.

As they have just lost the franchise, I feel a little bit sorry for Stagecoach. But not that sorry!


March 29, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Class 319 Flex Train And Third Rail Routes

In writing The Electrical System Of A Class 319 Flex, I came to the conclusion, that the designers of the Class 319 Flex had taken great care that the train would perform to a high standard on lines with third-rail electrification..

There are three routes that could be given an improved service using a third-rail bi-mode train.

Ashford to Brighton on the Marshlink Line.

Oxted to Uckfield on the Oxted Line.

Reading to Tonbridge via Gatwick Airport on the North Downs Line.


  1. From Ashford, trains on the Marshlink Line could go to London, but probably not on High Speed 1.
  2. The East Coastway Line between Hastings and Brighton can accept eight-car trains, and is a 90 mph line, that has recently been resignalled.
  3. From Oxted on the Oxted Line trains could go to London.
  4. The Uckfield Branch has been updated to accept twelve-car trains.
  5. Tonbridge to Gatwick Airport was electrified as a Eurostar diversion route.

For operational reasons on the Uckfield Branch and along the South Coast, it would probably be a good idea, if the ability to run as eight- and twelve car formations was developed for the Class 319 Flex.

The South Coast Express

The East Coastway Line could be connected to the West Coastway Line to Southampton Central station with a reverse at Brighton.

At present because the Marshlink Line is not electrified and the two Coastway Lines are run independently, you can’t travel between stations on the West Coastway Line to any station on the East Coastway Line without changing trains at Brighton.

Consider creating a South Coast Express between Ashford and Southampton using bi-mode trains.

  • The Class 800 train, which is the only current bi-mode train, comes as a five-car train, but doesn’t have a dual voltage version, although its cousin the Class 395 train can work on third rail networks.
  • The Class 319 Flex train could do the whole route and would only need to use diesel power for twenty-six miles.
  • The speed limit along the two Coastway Lines could probably be upgraded to 100 mph.
  • A new Eastbourne Parkway station could be created on a reopened direct line between Polegate and Pevensey & Westham stations, to avoid all trains reversing at the current Eastbourne station and hence save time.
  • It would be a feeder railway to Thameslink services at Brighton and Eurostar services at Ashford.
  • Eight-car or even twelve-car formations could work through Falmer station on match days at The Amex.
  • Southampton have plans to develop the railway to serve St. Mary’s Stadium and the Waterfront, which could be part of an upgraded West Coastway Line.

Currently, with a change at Brighton, Southampton to Ashford takes three hours forty-seven minutes. With a 100 mph train on an updated 100 mph line, the service could surely be a lot faster.

If an hourly service was required, then you get this table of trains required to run the service against  the journey time between Ashford and Southampton.

  • Three hours needs six trains.
  • Two and a half hours needs five trains.
  • Two hours needs four trains.

Southern use more trains than that now to provide a slower service, with a change at Brighton.

West Of Basingstoke

The West of England Main Line is only electrified as far as Basingstoke station, which is just under fifty miles from London.

Distances from Basingtoke are approximately.

Could a Class 319 Flex carry enough fuel to serve this route?

I have seen an early copy of the brochure for a Class 319 Flex and Porterbook say that the train is designed to handle ten round trips from Hazel Grove to Buxton, which is a seventeen mile trip, where the steep gradients up are probably balanced by the coming down.

This would indicate that the Class 319 Flex could do a round trip without refuelling.

The route is currently worked by eleven two-car Class 158 trains and thirty three-car Class 159 trains and they take three and a half-hours for each hourly service between London Waterloo and Exeter St. Davids.

The Class 319 Flex train has a comparable speed to the Class 158/159 trains on diesel and is ten mph faster, when running on electricity.

I don’t think that the trains would be used all the way to Exeter, as they are not really designed for a journey of that length, but there may be other places where they could be ideal.

  • Running between London Waterloo and Salisbury to increase the frequency, where they might save upwards of fifteen minutes between Basingstoke and Waterloo, as they are faster than the diesel Class 158/159s.
  • Running the hourly circular service from Salisbury to Chandlers Ford via Southampton, which has sections of electrified line, where they could replace Class 158/159s.
  • Existing lines like the Lymington Branch, where they could replace Class 158/159s
  •  Reopened lines like the Fawley Branch,  Ludgershall Branch and the Swanage Railway.
  • New services like Portsmouth Harbour to Salisbury via Southampton and Romsey.

It could be that some selective electrification like Southampton to Romsey could be very beneficial.






March 5, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment