Published at 18:59 on Tuesday 20th June 2017
Tags: Bombardier, First MTR, South Western franchise, New Trains, Aventra, EMUs

How the new Aventra EMUs for the South Western franchise will look, albeit without the full livery. Bombardier Transportation

The future of the Bombardier Transportation site at Derby has been further secured with the announcement that a new fleet of EMUs is to be built there.

FirstGroup and MTR, the winning bidder for the South Western franchise have signed an order for 90 new trains, totalling 750 carriages in both five and 10-car formations, at a cost of some £895 million.

Based on Bombardier’s new ‘AVENTRA’ platform, the operator says the new fleet will provide a 46% increase in peak capacity on the surburban routes into London Waterloo. Each of the new trains will be provided with the now standard requirements, expected of modern rail travel, including free Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points, air conditioning, wide gangways and wide-doors to improve boarding times.

The new fleet are to come into service during the middle of 2019, with all 90 trains being in traffic by December 2020, an average delivery period of just under one unit a week.

The new trains will operate on the Windsor, Reading and West London suburban routes, being maintained at Wimbledon depot, with South Western franchise employees undertaking the maintenance, supported by Bombardier employees. As the manufacturer of the new fleet, Bombardier says that it will provide technical advice and spares supply for the duration of the seven year franchise, with an option to extend that agreement in line with the existing franchise extension option that the DfT has.

FirstGroup and MTR included the plans for these new 100mph trains as part of their winning bid for the South Western rail network, of which the new franchise due to start on 20th August, with First Group confirming that the new trains would replace all of the existing Class 455, 458 and 707 fleets. The methodology behind the move being to provide a standard fleet, with a common set of spares, fitter and technician knowledge, as well as crew familiarity.

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