Update: The press run may now be cancelled.
Southeastern put up a news story mentioning next Monday, but have then taken that down.
Original: Southeastern’s CDnewest trains are set to have a press run tomorrow (24 September) from Cannon Street to Sevenoaks before introduction into passenger service.
In total 30 of the three year old trains are moving over as South Western Railway are receiving new stock.
That left almost-new trains with nowhere to go – so they’ll move to Southeastern.
With air-con, plugs and walk-through carriages some will see them as a big improvement on the venerable Networkers – of which around 30 will head off to storage eventually and probable scrap.
There are no toilets in keeping with Class 376 trains.
There’ll be no net increase in carriages in all likelihood as there’s no where to store additional trains near Metro routes.
There is however an increase in overall capacity as the new trains have fewer seats. Out with cramped three row bays and in comes 2×2 throughout.
Capacity of a 10-car Networker is 1,095 passengers. The capacity of a 10-car 707 is 1,190.
It’s a shame few additional 12-car services can run, as capacity of a 12-car Networker surpasses 10-car Class 707 with 1,410 passengers v 1,190.
While I was never a fan of the rows of three which make walking through a pain and the seats uncomfortable for many, some will regret the loss.
Southeastern recently spent money changing the interior of the new trains which seems a bit of an odd priority given they are only three years old and really, does anyone care if seats are blue and not red?
It seems strange to have that as a focus when new station buildings are opening without adequate staffing nor barriers such as Kidbrooke, and a new entrance to Lewisham station built as part of a new tower that opened two weeks ago is mothballed.
The 30 new trains shouldn’t make too big of a dent on Networker numbers, as around 80+ per cent will remain in service.
Whether they finally get a decent clean for another decade or a new order is made (unlikely given cuts planned for rail) remains to be seen.