Derby wins £895million South Western EMU order

By Ben Jones

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

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

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

SWT Class 455s and 456s pack the suburban platforms at Waterloo on June 20. Despite being in the process of receiving new AC traction packages both these ex-BR classes, along with the recently rebuilt Class 458/5s, face an uncertain future after 90 new Bombardier EMUs were ordered to replace them.

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.

Read more in the July 2017 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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