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The first of South Western Railway’s (SWR) near-£1 billion new fleet of modern suburban trains has arrived on the network ahead of a full programme of testing that is set to begin in July 2020.
The 10-car Class 701 train is the first of the highly anticipated 90-strong fleet to arrive on SWR’s network. Stored at Eastleigh, the train will be commissioned as part of Bombardier’s network testing regime to gain Office for Road and Rail (ORR) certification for full passenger usage ahead of the fleet being introduced later in 2020.
South Western Railway’s Commercial Projects Director, Alex Foulds, said: “I’m delighted to see us achieving another major milestone. The programme is gathering pace and we’re entering an important phase of the project as we begin real-world testing on our network ahead of the trains entering passenger service later this year. We’ve been working hard with Bombardier to ensure that these trains are fit and ready to transform journeys for suburban passengers.”
In July 2020, SWR’s full programme of testing is also expected to get underway. SWR will assess new systems specifically designed for the Class 701 trains, including: new communications systems, environmentally friendly toilets, sensitive edge doors, regenerative braking and onboard features like Wi-Fi and at-seat charging points.
The Class 701s represent a massive investment from SWR into more modern, faster and reliable services, and reflects the operators’s commitment to transforming passengers’ everyday experiences of travelling on the network. Fitted with the latest technology, these new trains will help more passengers arrive on time in the morning and evening peak periods, to and from London Waterloo, on one of Europe’s busiest rail networks.
Further trains from the fleet are expected to arrive over the coming weeks and months from Bombardier as the next phase of testing gathers pace ahead of the Class 701s’ eventual introduction.
Will Tanner, Bombardier’s Director of Communications, said: “We are delighted to see the first of these British-designed and built trains leave the factory at Derby. It has been a great team effort by all involved. Network testing can now begin on these cutting-edge trains, which is another important step towards passenger service.”
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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