Trains destined to operate between London Waterloo and Windsor are undergoing tests on a dedicated test track in Germany.
The first five South West Trains (SWT) new Class 707 trains are being put through their paces at Siemens’ test tack in Wildenrath.
The contract for the manufacture of the £210m fleet (comprising 30, five-car electric multiple units) was originally awarded to Siemens in September 2014. The first trains began testing earlier in July, 2016 ahead of delivery to SWT Wimbledon depot by leasing company Angel Trains this autumn.
With this milestone, the Siemens-built Class 707 Desiro City trains are closer to being ready for passenger service along the route from spring 2017, providing space for over 18,000 extra passengers at peak times.
According to Siemens, the new Class 707 trains will also ensure increased space and improved accessibility through ‘open gangways’ and upgraded on-board facilities such as free WiFi. The trains will also feature real-time TfL and London Underground updates, plus information about individual carriage capacity.
All units are required to undergo extensive testing to ensure that they are compatible with the safety and operational specifications along the route. Siemens’ test track in Wildenrath, Germany, has been designed to test new UK fleets to Network Rail standards, minimising disruption to the busy UK network. To ensure reliability across the SWT fleet, Siemens has fitted the operating system from its Thameslink Class 700.
In a statement, Siemens said the new fleet will be lighter and more energy efficient than previous generations, offering a weight saving of around 25 per cent.
Steve Scrimshaw, managing director, Rail Systems at Siemens, said: “It is always great to see such a major contract progress and reach important milestones. The testing phase is the most important as it allows us to ensure that each and every unit we deliver is safe and reliable for passengers.
“We still have a while to go before the entire fleet is complete but sending the first units in for testing on schedule is a significant achievement that we can all be proud of.”