Southeastern have released a video about their new trains moving over from South Western Railway.
The video doesn’t tell us much new but does state they will replace older stock – likely to be Networkers now touching 30 years in age – and see a new exterior paint job. There are 30 trains moving over and far more Networkers in operation so the majority will remain for some time to come – possibly reaching 35-40 years of age. It doesn’t state how many Networkers will be scrapped or moved elsewhere when the stock arrives, but a lack of storage and siding space across the Southeastern network means it could simply be like-for-like with no overall increase in trains.
Passengers would still benefit from air con which no Southeastern Metro stock has. The trains will operate on Metro routes given they have no toilets on board. A lack of toilets and fewer seats allows 95 more passengers on a 10-car train compared to a 10-car Networker.
The 707s are walk-though, and if you’ve used Thameslink trains you’ll know what to expect. Increased capacity will be handy to take more passengers from stations in fast growing areas in, say, Lewisham and Kidbrooke. Despite the doom and gloom over rail in the near term, the fact remains many thousands of homes in car-free developments are being constructed in the near vicinity of stations all over south east London as I covered last week. There are four major projects in Lewisham alone:
- 27-storey student tower beside station
- Lewisham Gateway with towers, cinema, shops and other homes
- Heathside and Lethbridge estate redevelopment
- Meyer Homes tower where work has begun clearing the site in recent weeks for 34-floor tower
Kidbrooke currently has builders on site for 650 homes directly north of the station, and thousands of homes directly to the south. If we look at Charlton for example, another 8,000+ are coming in future.
Ultimately the new trains are a handy stopgap but Networkers will need replacing soon. We have to wait to see just how many, if any, additional carriages these 30 trains will provide in the mid-term.