South Western Railway’s (SWR) Wimbledon depot welcomed its first Class 701 train on Tuesday (June 30), marking a significant milestone in the £1bn transformation of suburban travel.
Stabled at the depot over the coming weeks, the 10-car ‘Train 6’ will become the focus of training programmes and ‘dynamic’ testing to ensure the entire fleet is passenger-ready ahead of its introduction later this year.
Neil Drury, SWR’s Engineering Director, said:
“We’re delighted Wimbledon depot has received its first class 701 train. There will be many significant developments in this programme – this is one of them.
“Train 6 allows us to prepare our drivers, maintenance staff and other colleagues for a generational step-change in service performance, and ensure that the important components which define the experience of travelling on these new trains are ready before the fleet’s eventual introduction.”
To hear more about the Class 701 programme from Neil, watch the video below:
Train 6 allows drivers, maintenance and other depot colleagues to begin their training and develop new skills in preparation for the next generation of trains. Wimbledon depot will eventually become the new maintenance home for the entire Class 701 fleet.
The train is also a significant part of SWR’s programme for real-world network testing on passenger routes, which is taking place from August. Modern onboard features allowing passengers to stay connected and travel comfortably – including air conditioning, Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points, travel information systems and fully accessible toilets – as well as technology which significantly boosts reliability and performance for passengers travelling every day on the network, will be put through its paces.
SWR’s Class 701 fleet consists of 90 new trains, representing a massive investment in modern, quicker and reliable services for passengers. Aided by the latest technology, the fleet will help more passengers arrive on time in the morning and evening peak periods on one of Europe’s busiest rail networks.