New trains arriving for South Western Railway


Introducing our new Class 701 trains for suburban passengers

This year we begin introducing our brand new 750-carriage strong fleet of Class 701s trains, completely transforming passengers’ experiences travelling on our Reading, Windsor and West London suburban routes. 

The trains are a near-£1 billion investment which offers modern, faster and more reliable trains for passengers travelling to and from London Waterloo station every day. Fitted with the latest technology, these new trains will help more than passengers arrive on time in the morning and evening peak periods on one of Europe’s busiest rail networks.  

Eventually, a fleet of 60 x 10 car and 30 x 5 car trains will arrive on the network to help transform services for passengers.

The Class 701 trains

Video credit: Geoff Marshall – he visited Bombardier’s Derby factory in November 2019

Built by Bombardier in Derby, the Class 701s are more technologically advanced than the older trains it’s replacing. These modern trains are designed and operated to reduce station dwell times, so more customers can arrive at their destinations on time more comfortably.

The Class 701s will eventually replace all our Class 455, 456, 458, 707 trains which operate on the suburban routes.

Constructed using strong, but lightweight materials such as aluminium for the body shell, the trains have been designed to be light, yet well equipped for performance and customer comfort. 

Passengers travelling on the suburban routes will experience new features, including:

Class 701 trains infographic South Western Railways new trains

These trains are more sustainable than the current fleet serving the suburban route as regenerative braking means up to 30 per cent less energy is used as electricity is sent back into the conductor rail.

The new trains also have toilets which biologically and thermally treat the waste and are accessible for all passengers, including those using wheelchairs.

Live on-train customer information systems will deliver real-time travel information, allowing customers to plan-ahead their onward journeys whilst onboard.

There will be several multi-use spaces available, where seating can be tipped up to accommodate prams or luggage. Dedicated wheelchair spaces are available as well as cycle racks so passengers can safely and conveniently store their bicycles.

Take a closer look

Have a closer look at the latest images of both the exterior of the train and the inside of the carriages

The Roll Out

Delivering this near-£1 billion investment project requires some major planning. 

We are committed to ensuring customer and communities we serve can benefit from more capacity, better quality, safer and more reliable services on our suburban routes as soon as possible.

When can customers ride the 701s?

We’re replacing every train currently running on our suburban routes, but not all at the same time. The Class 701s will be phased-in, and we’ll update customers in due course when it will be arriving at your station.

Class 701 trains - where will they run on the South Western Network and when

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