Southeastern trains to be refurbished – but not the oldest ones

It’s been announced today that Southeastern’s longer distance Class 375 trains are to be refurbished.

However the fleet serving London suburbs is not included, and so the 30 year old trains will continue with some in poor shape internally.

£10 million is to be spent on long distance trains including installation of USB points.

Back on the metro side of the operation and bubbling flooring and dirty interiors with  ground-in dirt are the norm.

Bubbling floors

The Class 375 trains are owned by Eversholt and leased to Southeastern, as are many of the Class 465 and Class 466 Networkers.

Southeaster Metro users will see newer trains cascaded from South West Rail begin operating on 12th September, though only a couple at first until the full 30 are in service by early 2022.

Tatty and starved of investment

Even then, 30 trains is still a faction of the older Networkers running on the network, with 147 Class 465s nearing 30 years old and 43 Class 466s.

Owing to a lack of places to stable trains, 30 Networker units are likely to go to make way for 30 Class 707s. That would leave 160 Class 465 and Class 466’s left.

30 Class 707s by 2022

Some Networkers now on Metro routes were used in the past on longer distance trains (Class 465/9s). They’re far better inside than the main bulk and not just because of first class, but the general colour scheme is far more attractive.

Will the rest ever be refurbished before replacement, whenever that is?

Apart from legally required work for disabled access, very little has ever been done to improve the interior ambience.

With commuting numbers down and rail needing to encourage leisure passengers, interior train quality counts more than ever.

And one other thing, Southeastern make a big thing online about tools that measure how busy trains are. These are based on measuring weight within a carriage. Most networkers lack this facility.

Most services listed as n/a owing to lack of measuring equipment on older trains

You can see that with the gaps in information on SE tool to find out how busy a train is.

A small number do possess the tech, but it hasn’t been installed on every train.

A lot of this comes down to a complete lack of forward planning for almost a decade now owing to the Department for Transport never deciding what to do.

Award to TfL. Then cancel that. Extend the franchise for a dceade? Nope, give another short 18 month extension.

Someone needs to decide: either the trains will last another 10 years – and in which case invest for that, or replace them.



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Murky Depths

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

6 thoughts on “Southeastern trains to be refurbished – but not the oldest ones

  • August 31, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    The Class 375 trains have already had a refurb during their lifetime, I complained years ago to SouthEastern about the state of their Metro trains when the 375’s received this.

    People need to start voting out their sitting MP’s in South London and beyond to get anything to change.

  • September 1, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Excuse me, only TWO of the 707 stock will come into service on 12 September? I count myself fortunate that I have seen the rebranded Southwestern trains on trial runnings because who knows when I will actually be able to ride one. 🙄

  • September 1, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    There might be slightly more but far from all have transferred yet and drivers trained.

    It looks like the Bexleyheath line will solely see 12-car Networkers each PM rush hour with the 10-car 707s and 376s on the Woolwich line and Sidcup line interspersed with Networkers, though less so than previously. The Woolwich line could see 4 different types of stock with Thameslink added – though granted they are very similar to the new trains. No idea about Hayes.

  • September 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    I’m not on any of those lines, so am not sure where I would need to be to ride a 707. The trains that stop at Lee go via Lewisham and I haven’t seen any of the new stock on that line. I guess I’ll have to check Southeastern’s website for updates.

  • September 3, 2021 at 7:43 am

    I thought trains were leased. If that’s the case why not just lease better, newer trains from somewhere else and let the company that manages the old trains figure out what to do with them. If we lease trains it’s just a switch if supplier right?

    (Massive over simplification but you get the idea)

    • September 3, 2021 at 12:10 pm

      Leasing companies almost always only buy stock if the government approves services.

      Most stock is only really suitable for a small number of lines/areas (eg third rail for SE metro) so not much scope to easily switch.


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