Home General Interest Wimbledon depot gets its first Class 701 train

Wimbledon depot gets its first Class 701 train

South Western Railway’s (SWR) first Class 701 train has arrived at Wimbledon depot, marking a significant milestone in the £1 billion transformation of suburban travel.

The 10-car train, known as ‘Train 6’, will become the focus of training programmes and dynamic testing to ensure the entire fleet is passenger-ready ahead of its introduction later this year.

Neil Drury, SWR’s Engineering Director, said:

“We’re delighted Wimbledon depot has received its first class 701 train. There will be many significant developments in this programme – this is one of them.

“Train 6 allows us to prepare our drivers, maintenance staff and other colleagues for a generational step-change in service performance, and ensure that the important components which define the experience of travelling on these new trains are ready before the fleet’s eventual introduction.”

Having Train 6 based at Wimbledon will allow drivers, maintenance and other depot staff to begin their training and develop new skills in preparation for the next generation of trains. Wimbledon depot will eventually become the new maintenance home for the entire Class 701 fleet.

All the current fleet operating on the suburban network – Class 455, 456, 458 and 707 trains – will be replaced over a two-year period when the new trains are introduced.

The train will also play a significant part in SWR’s programme for real-world network testing on passenger routes, which will take place from August. Modern onboard features allowing passengers to stay connected and travel comfortably – including air conditioning, Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points, travel information systems and fully accessible toilets – as well as technology which significantly boosts reliability and performance for passengers travelling every day on the network, will be put through its paces.

SWR’s Class 701 fleet consists of 90 new trains, representing a massive investment in modern, quicker and reliable services for passengers. Aided by the latest technology, the fleet will help more passengers arrive on time in the morning and evening peak periods on one of Europe’s busiest rail networks.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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