A survey has been launched by Southeastern and the Department for Transport on potential new trains.
The bulk of Southeastern’s Metro fleet remains the Class 465 and 466 Networker which reached 30 years of age last year.
Despite the survey now open, the Department for Transport has not signed off on any new stock to replace all the Networkers and given they’ve ordered cuts across the network which now sees mass levels of understaffing at stations alongside service cuts we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up for any approval.
At the time of writing around 50 stations were lacking normal staffing levels according to Southeastern’s website – and normal levels are already very low at most stations.
The Treasury and in turn the Department for Transport – who control Southeastern – continue to seek cost cutting. All fare revenue also goes directly to the Treasury.
Last year Southeastern announced a tender for new stock – though newly built stock or some moved from elsewhere was both on the table. An introductory date of 2027 was given, by which time the Networkers will be 25 years old.
But a tender is just that. Seeking responses from manufacturers. That’s a different ball game to it being signed off by the Treasury.
The company are due to receive 12 more “City Beam” trains – though that is but a fraction of Networkers still in daily use.