Southeastern share images of revamped Metro Class 376 trains

Southeastern’s Managing Director has today shown images of how refreshed Class 376 trains will appear.

Class 376 trains operate across the SE Metro network and are now up to 19 years old without ever having any refurbishment, hence a light refresh is planned for the next 20 years.

Class 376 passing new developments in Lewisham

Unfortunately the one thing that would be nice to have across many months of the year even into October – air con – is NOT being added.

They were the very last trains ordered in the UK without it – and yet all sister trains built on the same Electrostar platform do have it.

This past few days has again seen pretty unpleasant journeys on the trains that to compensate – if we can use that work – have windows that barely open and no air vents unlike Networkers.

So that’s 20 years more sweating in an overheated carriage for months on end each year for you dear traveller. Costs too much is the reason. Of course.

We are of course in a time when the government – who wholly control Southeastern – do not want to fund improvements in rail.

Class 376 in Plumstead sidings recently. Outside logo as tired as the inside. See cranes with thousands of homes under construction nearby

The Treasury and Department for Transport still can’t grasp that a nicer travelling environment attracts more custom and thus revenue.

See also the threadbare staffing evident every single day now across Southeastern as staff aren’t replaced when they leave. Today it was 60 stations lacking staffing above and beyond normal low levels.

No staff seen at stations like Greenwich

That was a good day. Last week it reached nearly 90 stations with staff absent.

Staffing to help passengers? To aid safety? Who needs that?


With only 30 Class 376’s in service, the Networker (Class 465 and 466) remain the bulk of the Metro fleet at 31 years old. There’s around 130 of them plugging away each day. Most have never had a proper refurbishment since built in the early 1990s.

There’s no confirmed replacement. Even if there was, new stock is year’s away (2027 is mooted). And because of that possible order – which isn’t confirmed – no money is spent on the decrepit existing stock.

Broken seats a common sight

Most are in a real state with years of embedded grime in various places that’s apparently never cleaned (the radiators are disgusting) and bubbling floors that must contravene some rules for the partially sighted with broken seats a-plenty.

Filth and broken fittings for many years

This isn’t a rail company or service in good shape.

I’ve used just about every rail company in London over the past year – and many beyond the capital – and none are this bad.

No cleaning evident. Bubbling floors

Some of the Networkers (the class 465/9s with a far more pleasant interior) did however see an upgrade over 10 years ago and it’s telling that despite that they’re still so much nice inside than most.

Southeastern’s bulk Metro fleet though has been a neglected state for many, many years under GoVia then under direct Department for Transport control.

It appears they havn’t had any sort of cleaning beyond a slight wipe in many years.

Cleaned in years?

None of this really points to any long term strategy to entice passengers to Metro services (and let’s ignore very poor timetables that now exist with the longest service gaps for at least 50 years at places like Abbey Wood despite potential connections with the Elizabeth line) and so revenue will lag while congestion on roads gets ever worse.

It’s such a massive shame. The Southeastern Metro network has huge potential to capture potential passenger growth and embrace substantial population growth from new housing. A good network would be transformational.

But this government have no idea or apparent desire for that. A light refresh of a minority of the overall stock that doesn’t even include obvious wins to entice passengers while simultaneously leaving the bulk of the fleet in an utter state is short-term penny pinching, and yet all too typical.

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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.

    10 thoughts on “Southeastern share images of revamped Metro Class 376 trains

    • But it’s not those Capitalist money grabbing private companies running Southeastern

    • Even the City Beams are now starting to look rough. Dirt building up in places. Southeastern just can’t or won’t look after their trains serving London suburbs. The long distance trains are fine but then they bother to staff both those trains and most major stations in Kent.

      Some will blame the scroats on trains but why don’t Southeastern ever bother to stop the troublemakers getting on board? Every station is pretty much lacking staff, gates always open and have you ever seen staff on a train?!? Trust me there’s plenty of dodgy people in GWR and Greater Anglia land but they seem to bother putting staff on trains and stations unlike Southeastern. Why does this neck of the woods get ignored by government so often? Worst in the south (and even up north they have staff on trains!)

    • The lack of foresight is ludicrous, the same with the Elizabeth line, no thought for the passenger. The “modern” trains with no overhead luggage space, no recharging facility. South Eastern not having AC is crass in the extreme, especially as the forecast of hotter summers and colder winters is a given.

    • South Eastern under any guise and control have never really cared about Metro or suburban routes under since the 90s. Connex then Govia then now. The images above for the trains look exactly like the trains do now. Woop de doo. As your photos show they aren’t maintained so after a bit of new fabric what then? Left to rot again?

      They only care about long distance routes into Kent. I don’t care who runs the service as long as they have some interest and care but clearly that isn’t ever happening so I fully understood why many wanted TfL to run it. Every other alternative has been poor for 30 years since BR ordered new trains and smartened stations in the early 90s. The whole story put out today ignores almost all the suburban fleet which tells its own story.

    • As mentioned, open gates mean quite a lot of missed fares. I used SE trains for years and shudder at how much revenue is missed at the numerous open gates. I also believe that non-payers care even less for treating the trains properly. Trains are a service not a charity! No money, no trains. Then we’re all in trouble.

    • Now it appears we may not even see the plug sockets previously mentioned. It’ll just be new fabric and paint. No substantive change of so.

      The owner of the trains are Eversholt who won’t spend the money on substantive changes unless they can be sure they’ll get that investment back but that requires govt assurances. This govt won’t give them and seem determined to drive away investment. And this is a one and done chance. Don’t do a proper upgrade now and that is likely to be two decades without. Again, short term thinking by gov with long term damage.

    • If the interior of the trains look like that and maybe the trains themselves are not maintained, ie the engines or brakes, how long before a major accident ie train crash? I don’t know i haven’t travelled by these trains for a long long time

    • This Govt doesn’t have long, nothing is a priority to them except getting motorist votes. Maybe just maybe Labour find a way to increase tax on vehicle mileage to subsidise the railways. The money will have to come from somewhere as we are told budgets will be v.tight, and so should come from those who enjoy the comforts/convenience of their own modern vehicles. If the car is just used occasionally for journeys difficult/expensive by rail then a mileage charge won’t hurt if the fixed excise duty is reduced. Pay per mile is the future.

    • A ‘light refresh’ over a 20 year span on trains that have already been in service for 19 years? This would be funny were it not for the utter failure of Southeastern to maintain the rolling stock in any way.

    • Southeastern have given up on running a decent suburban service, they’ve passed the buck to the Elizabeth, Jubilee and DLR lines.

      The trains are a mess, the stations are unsafe, they’re a utter joke


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