Derby wins £895million South Western EMU order

BOMBARDIER’S Derby plant has won the £895million contract to build 90 new ‘Aventra’ EMUs for First/MTR’s new South Western franchise.

The 750 metro-style EMU vehicles will be formed into 60 ten-car and 30 five-car trains and will replace the current fleet of ex-BR Class 455s and 456s, the recently rebuilt Alstom Class 458s and the 30 Class 707
five-car EMUs ordered by Stagecoach from Siemens, which are yet to enter service (RM June).

First and MTR take control of the South Western franchise on August 20 using the current fleet, but expect to introduce their new ‘Aventra’ fleet from

All 750 vehicles should be in service by December 2020, increasing peak-time capacity on the Windsor, Reading and south-west London suburban routes by 46%.

The trains are likely to be similar to the 25kV AC Class 720
EMUs ordered by Greater Anglia in late-2016 to replace its suburban EMU fleet and will feature full-width gangways within each set and doors at one-third and two-thirds positions along the body. They will have a maximum speed of 100mph and will feature wi-fi, at-seat charging points, USB sockets, toilets and air-conditioning.

They will be maintained by South Western staff at Wimbledon depot, with support from Bombardier, and are being financed by Rock Rail, which is also providing money for the new Greater Anglia fleet.

Richard Hunter, UK managing director of Bombardier Transportation, said; “We’re thrilled to have won the contract, which demonstrates further confidence placed in the
market-leading rolling stock designed and built in Britain.

“This order is a fantastic endorsement of our skilled workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer and manufacture here in the UK,” he said. “It will ensure a stable, long-term workload for our staff in Derby.”

Bombardier is in the process of building 66 nine-car
Class 345 ‘Aventra’ sets for Crossrail (plus options for 17 more), to be followed by 45 four-car Class 710s for London Overground (options for 24 more), 22 ten-car and 89 five-car Class 720s for Greater Anglia.

The South Western order takes the total number of ‘Aventra’ vehicles on order, and due to be built, tested and approved by the end of 2020, to 2,189.

Read more News and Features in the July issue of The RM – on sale now!

A CGI of the new Bombardier train for the South Western franchise. Courtesy of BOMBARDIER

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