South Western Rail­way Class 707s could be bound for South­east­ern

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

Thirty Class 707 elec­tric mul­ti­ple units de­liv­ered in 2017-18 could be trans­ferred to the new South East­ern fran­chise.

The five-car De­siro City EMUs (707001-707030) were or­dered by South West Trains in 2014, with de­liv­ery start­ing in 2017. How­ever, be­fore even one had en­tered traf­fic Stage­coach lost the SWT fran­chise to a FirstGroup/MTR joint ven­ture that an­nounced plans to re­place them (and other EMU fleets) with Bom­bardier-built Class 701s from 2020.

Once this deal was con­firmed, the ‘707s’ had no new home. The same ap­plies to 36 five-car Class 458/5s re­built at con­sid­er­able cost, and 91 Class 455s re­trac­tioned in re­cent years in a £40 mil­lion scheme. Twenty-four re­fur­bished Class 456s are also home­less in the near fu­ture.

Now, RAIL sources have sug­gested that the Class 707s will trans­fer to the new SE fran­chise. Abel­lio, Govia and Stage­coach are bid­ding for the new deal, which will be one of the first to in­clude close co-op­er­a­tion with Net­work Rail.

An­gel Trains owns the Class 707s, which are all now in traf­fic with South Western Rail­way. Spokesman Annabelle Duke told RAIL the rolling stock com­pany does not comment on live bids.

It is known that the new fran­chise is likely to in­clude new trains. An­other RAIL source sug­gested that two of the bid­ders are likely to buy new trains to re­place the large Class 465/466 Net­worker fleet, which dates from 1992-93.

This con­tains 147 four-car Class 465s and 43 two-car Class 466s, and within the ‘465’ fleet, 97 are fit­ted with Hi­tachi trac­tion pack­ages that in more than a decade have yet to fail in traf­fic. The Ja­panese firm is un­der­stood to be one of the favourites to sup­ply new-build stock to the fran­chise.

The cur­rent South­east­ern fran­chise has been run by Govia since 2007. Its mixed fleet con­tains 112 Class 375s built by Bom­bardier be­tween 1999 and 2004, 36 five­car Bom­bardier Class 376s from 2004-05, 25 four-car Class 377s from 2009 (two from 2003), and 29 six-car Hi­tachi Class 395s (200709), as well as the Net­work­ers.

Govia also op­er­ates the Thames­link, South­ern and Great North­ern fran­chise, which has taken de­liv­ery of 115 Class 700 De­siro City EMUs, and is tak­ing de­liv­ery of 25-car ‘717’ De­siro City trains.

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