Southeastern train upgrades now complete

A program to upgrade Southeastern’s fleet of Class 375 rolling stock has been completed.

The trains are used on long distance services to Kent and Sussex and have seen deep cleaning and at-seat power including USB outlets.

Courtesy Southeastern. USB sockets

A total of 112 trains – owned by Eversholt and leased by Southeastern – have seen work undertaken.

Many believe rail companies own their trains but almost all across the UK are leased from private companies, and new trains and upgrades are pretty much never undertaken with the express green light from the Department for Transport.


On the other hand Metro stock is a different story compered to trains used on HS1 and long distance routes.

Now well over 30 years old

Many Networkers have degraded into a dilapidated state with numerous short-term franchise extensions from the DfT over the past decade being issued with little investment.

However credit where it’s due, I travelled on one this week and it wasn’t in the usual filthy state. It actually looked like the grills and fittings, for example, had been cleaned. Normally years of grime is embedded in fixtures and fittings.

Bubbling floors and years of grime evident on many Networkers for some years

This could be due to a new facility at Grove Park depot and if so, excellent job. Let’s see how future journeys shape up.

If the aspiration is to recover passenger numbers and in particular leisure travel, attractive interiors are a must. Most may not notice the grime on a packed peak train, but it’s all too clear off-peak and at weekends.

I use Southeastern Metro a fair bit less now the Elizabeth line is running and SE frequencies have been cut with long service gaps but do prefer it if travelling from, say, Abbey Wood to Stratford compared to being underground on the Elizabeth line with no view. The train and DLR offers a much more interesting trip with things to see and observing changes and development en route.

One of the odd things is that the Networker sub-fleet (Class465/9s) with first class and a far better interior ambience didn’t see the same level of grime accumulate and appearance of neglect which the rest of the fleet did. Different depots?

Many Networkers have the appearance of long-term neglect and utterly filthy

Future changes

On a wider level with future rolling stock for Southeastern much is still in the air. Great Northern are set to see additional trains which are currently sat in sidings, which could see some trains cascaded to Southern and in turn some Southern trains heading to Southeastern to withdraw further Networkers (the nicest ones sadly seems likely).

Southeastern’s now 20-year old Class 376 fleet is also supposed to have a limited refurbishment but apparently that’s still not signed off. It’ll take the DfT to give assurances to the leasing company before that happens.

Twenty year old Class 376 and looking very tired inside

As for whether the entire Networker stock is replaced given they’re now into their 30s, that remains an unknown. A tender for possible new stock was issued in 2022 but no decision has yet been made. Some are actually seeing new LED lighting as we speak.

They remain the bulk of the Metro and mid-distance fleet by some margin even with the Class 376 and recent addition of Class 707 City Beams from South Western Railway.


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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.

2 thoughts on “Southeastern train upgrades now complete

  • Southeastern should start planning on wanting new rolling stock to replace the Class 465 and Class 466 DC Networkers which are 30 years old and are in need of replacing in couple years. As Great Northern replaced the Class 365 with Class 387s Electrostars that were built by Bombardier at Litchurch Lane train manufacturing factory.

    And Alstom who want to keep jobs going at Litchurch Lane train factory in Derby, East Midlands could perhaps win the contract to manufacture new Aventra DC trains for Southeastern and to save job. That’s if it ever happens.

  • So all 112 Class 375 Electrostar units have all been refurbished along with the 23 Class 377/5s that were cascaded from Thameslink and were replaced by the Class 700.

    Will Southeastern start refurbishing the Class 376, Class 465 and Class 466 in Southeastern blue livery. Or to refurbish the Class 376 and to order brand new trains to replace the Class 465 and Class 466. If Alstom were to save jobs at its Derby Litchurch Lane train factory.


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