An­gel Trains’ re­mit to de­cide on fu­ture of SWR ‘707s’ - May­nard

Rail (UK) - - News -

The fu­ture of the 30 Class 707 De­siro City units that are to be with­drawn by South West­ern Rail­way around two years af­ter their de­liv­ery is a mat­ter for An­gel Trains, ac­cord­ing to Rail Min­is­ter Paul May­nard.

The five-car dual-volt­age elec­tric mul­ti­ple units were or­dered by South West Trains in 2014, fol­low­ing the Govern­ment’s High Level Out­put Spec­i­fi­ca­tion (HLOS) plan to in­tro­duce a ten-car rail­way to boost ca­pac­ity on routes from Lon­don Water­loo. An­gel Trains fi­nanced the £210 mil­lion fleet.

So far 14 trains are in the UK, with three pairs in traf­fic each day. All 30 must be here by the end of the year.

How­ever, when First MTR was an­nounced as the new op­er­a­tor of the SWR fran­chise, it or­dered 90 Class 701 Aven­tras to re­place the ‘707s’ as well as the Class 455 and Class 458 fleets.

Peter Kyle (Labour, Hove) asked if Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Chris Grayling would take steps to en­cour­age the use of the ‘707s’ on coast routes in the South West once they are sent off-lease.

In a Com­mons Writ­ten Re­ply, May­nard said: “The fu­ture use of the Class 707 trains is a mat­ter for the owner of the ve­hi­cles (An­gel Trains Ltd).

“Our over­all ap­proach is to foster a healthy and high­per­form­ing rolling stock mar­ket that de­liv­ers value-for-money ser­vices for pas­sen­gers.”

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