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SWR unveils ‘701’

Photo: New suburban fleet: SWR’s Class 701 No 701502 on the test track at Bombardier’s Litchurch Lane factory in Derby.

 

South Western Railway has showcased the first of its Class 701 Aventra EMUs ordered from Bombardier for suburban services into Waterloo.

SWR has ordered 60×10-car and 30×5-car units from Bombardier, financed by Rock Rail. The first three trains (two five-car and one 10-car) have been completed, with the second 10-car unit on the production line.

The first four trains are for type testing; the first series production unit to be delivered to SWR will be Train 5, which is planned to move south for on-network testing early in the New Year. Entry into passenger service is planned for mid-2020, with current plans seeing the first ‘701s’ entering service on the Reading line. A 12-month introduction programme is due to see the full fleet in service by mid-2021; this has been accelerated from the 17 months originally planned, in part to catch up with delays which have resulted from the software problems facing earlier Aventra builds.

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