Southeastern Networkers return from storage as “new” trains delayed

A number of Networker trains sent to storage over a year ago are being returned to service as newer City Beam trains due to move to Southeastern are delayed.

18 out of 30 City Beam trains have moved from South Western Railway to Southeastern with the remaining 12 already delayed due to issues with new stock heading to SWR.

City Beam at Woolwich Arsenal

The remaining City Beams were supposed to arrive in September after one delay – but this now looks almost certain not to happen. SWR’s new Arterio Class 701 trains are years late and suffering a multitude of technical problems.

Thus 30 year old trains stabled in sidings near Cambridge for many months are now set to return to Southeastern – if they aren’t too clapped out.

Class 465 Networkers

One concerning issue in that regard is that another Networker train – which hadn’t previously headed to storage though was built by the same manufacturer – has now had to leave the fleet given apparent issues due to its age.

When built in the 1990s, the overall order was split between two companies.

Trains sent to storage were some of the most unreliable trains (the 485/2 sub class) that never saw retractioning in the late 2000s to aid reliability.

Networker introduced 30 years ago

Another factor causing older stock to return is that a number of trains serving mid and long distance routes on Southeastern are believed to be heading to Southern to plug gaps there after 46 trains were scrapped in recent months causing many services to be shortened.

One of the first changes on the Southeastern was seen today as services from Victoria to Ashford switched to Networker operation.

The 465/9s Networkers with first class and far nicer interiors are set to run that route meaning fewer running along Metro routes in London. That makes sense as they’re not designed to be Metro stock, but they were nice to sit in after a day at work.

First class in 465/9s

Southeastern still possess a wide variety of stock on Metro routes which goes against the thrust of other train operating companies, which is to simplify stock to improve maintenance.

They operate various types of 30 year old Networkers with different underpinnings, 16 year old Class 376s and now the late 2010s Class 707 City Beams.

Class 376 still retain Connex colours

Not ideal, and until a long-term plan is established, bumbling along with myriad stock seems to be the answer.



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J Smith

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.

4 thoughts on “Southeastern Networkers return from storage as “new” trains delayed

  • I think at the moment most passengers will just be happy if a train turns up.

    That said we do need to see major investment in our railways infrastructure to make our railways fit for the future. Including new trains to replace older rolling stock across the network.

  • If they’re being pulled out of the boneyard then there is a chance the train may not turn-up if it develop faults.

  • Have to be honest and say the older trains are far more comfortable than the Class 376 or the City Beam. Commuting 5 days a week with the newer trains actually means a more painful journey for me. At least the seats on the old trains have padding and when you open the windows you can actually get some air. The City Beam air con hasn’t been great and the 376 is just poorly ventilated…even with open windows.

  • @ Woolwich Resident. Yes that is true. However, newer rolling stock can also developed teething problems. Just like some new cars can do.


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