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Author Topic: SWR's new Class 701 trains  (Read 2673 times)
stuving
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« on: December 07, 2018, 06:51:43 pm »

When the order for these new trains was announced, they were due to turn up from the middle of 2019. However, there are a lot of other Aventras a-building, and most of those have been late getting onto service. So who thinks they will actually be running to and from Reading by May 2019?

SWR» (South Western Railway - about) do, that's who. These posters went up a few days ago, implying that they need to stop selling first class tickets before the next timetable ends. (Taken at a funny angle to try to avoid reflections, not altogether successfully.) I guess we may need a thread to discuss the trains, when they do turn up, and any delay to that.

PS: There is a second poster saying "as part of our £90 million station improvement programme work to install new ticket gates will start here in mid November 2018". I wonder, how many station users will regard that as an improvement? (And yes, the original is commaless.)
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stuving
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2021, 05:52:08 pm »

When the order for these new trains was announced, they were due to turn up from the middle of 2019. However, there are a lot of other Aventras a-building, and most of those have been late getting onto service. So who thinks they will actually be running to and from Reading by May 2019?

Two years, at least one Pandemic, and several excuses from Bombardier about "unforeseen software" later, I seen one!

True they have been doing some runs around Aldershot and Waterloo and the SWML (South Western Mail Line) for some time, but for the last few days have been venturing as far as Reading too. This was TSC'd as operated by GBRf, which implies mileage accumulation/fault-free running. It actually ran with TD 5Q05 in the WTT (Working Time-Table), but shown as 522X (and ZZ) in the signalling diagrams, and was 710025.

But there are now also paths in the WTT for trains operated as ECS (Empty Coaching Stock) by SWR» (South Western Railway - about), via Reading. The TSC picked is for a default consist of 2x450, but I expect it to be a 701 when it arrives. Not that any of those has yet run, but there's no hurry, is there?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2021, 07:51:58 pm »

No hurry at all…the 455s they replace are still in reasonable nick!
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 07:04:05 am »

Quote
No hurry at all…the 455s they replace are still in reasonable nick!

And from a cyclists point of view possibly better, as SWR» (South Western Railway - about)'s most recent improvements have removed cycle spaces on trains. I will have to wait and see, especially how bikes work from Reading in the morning peak (don't tell me, I know and I don't, but plenty do).
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2022, 07:47:31 pm »

SWR» (South Western Railway - about) put out a statement today about why they are keeping some of their 707s until August, rather than passing them on to Southern. Obviously the reason is the lack of 701s. And that, they put bluntly, is Alstom's issue to fix (the blunt part of this was quoted on BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) South Today yesterday). Here's the key bit:
Quote
12 out of 30 of SWR’s 707 fleet was due to move to the Southeastern network but, following an agreement signed between the two train companies, SWR’s lease on the units has been extended until August 2022.

The move is set to alleviate future pressure on SWR’s train capacity, which – prior to passenger numbers reducing as a result of Omicron - had been impacted by the altered Arterio introduction. SWR is waiting for manufacturer Alstom to supply a train that performs to specification and will deliver consistently better journeys for customers and colleagues. When they do, SWR will begin its extensive programme of testing, training and business mobilisation.

Pre-empting the Arterio introduction, SWR refrained from spending significant sums - at a time of significantly reduced passenger numbers - on overhauling trains which were due to be retired and replaced, resulting in pre-Omicron challenges around fleet availability and capacity.
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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2022, 11:04:39 am »

After several months of the same thing - reports of naughty software, ASLEF» (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - about) insisting the cabs needed changing, and trains shuffling between places where some of their arms-length list of other faults could be fixed ... a sniff of progress at last! There was a "meet the manager" event for a 701 (or was it "meet the 701" for managers?) last week.

An article in RAIL magazine (posted in railforums) includes DfT» (Department for Transport - about)'s reply to an FoI request about what ailed the 701 programme.  That identifies the issues:
Quote
The DfT stated that the biggest problem “has been the inconsistency of the software to improve the performance and reliability of the trains”.

It added: “The issues experienced are not consistent on every unit. Core activities such as splitting and joining and train preparation have proved challenging.”

Other problems during testing have included:

    Computer control unit issues.
    Passenger information screen irregularities.
    Configuration irregularities.
    Wheel slide protection faults.
    Driver machine interface merging issues.

And now there are reports that ASLEF have finally signed an agreement about driving the things, so training will start soon (though the RAIL article implied the dotted line was still unsigned then). Whether the cabs have to be as was, as is, or after any more changes, is not clear.

This morning BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) TV local news reported a DfT "announcement" of some kind, that they were confident SWR» (South Western Railway - about) would have a plan for entry into service by the end of June (that's the date for the plan, not entry into service, of course). Presumably that's based on something more direct than the FoI/RAIL route.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2022, 07:16:07 am »

Saw one out in the wild on Saturday.
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stuving
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2022, 08:23:53 pm »

According to this BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) article, we're now on a promise! A vague one, of course.
Quote
First of £1bn trains to run in 2023, South Western Railway says

The first of a new £1bn fleet of trains will enter service in 2023 - three years later than planned, a rail firm has said.

The high-capacity Arterio trains were due to run from December 2019 on South Western Railway (SWR» (South Western Railway - about)) routes to Reading and Windsor in Berkshire.

SWR previously said the delay was due to the impact of Covid-19. However, there have also been reports of faults.

The rail operator has accepted 24 of 90 trains from manufacturer Alstom.

The transfer of the first Class 701 units emerged through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by passenger Rich Williams, which has been seen by the BBC.

The Department for Transport (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)) replied: "Work continues with Alstom for a pre-passenger service software update... in order to bring those units to entry into service standard.

"Mainline driver training is scheduled to commence in the new year."

That's rather misleading, I think. The status update that Paul Clifton has got is probably more accurate:
Quote
The fleet of 750 Derby-built carriages has faced numerous software faults which have still not been fully resolved, BBC South transport correspondent Paul Clifton said.

Problems with door obstacle detectors have prevented the trains from being accepted for driver training, according to the train drivers' union ASLEF» (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - about).

Other reported issues have included the coupling process, faulty windscreen wipers and cab doors that were difficult to open.

SWR previously said the trains would carry more people and reduce journey times on routes in Berkshire and Surrey.

It has now confirmed they will enter service "as early in the New Year as possible".

And here's Alstom, making sure they get their excuse in:
Quote
Alstom said it had acquired the trains' previous manufacturer Bombardier at the end of 2020, long after the project's due completion date.

A spokesman said: "Since then Alstom has delivered the same model of train to other customers including the Elizabeth Line which are operating very successfully."
« Last Edit: December 13, 2022, 10:43:26 pm by stuving » Logged
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2022, 09:01:06 pm »

Will we see Class 455s still in service in 2024 I wonder?
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2022, 06:56:18 am »

I presume the 701s are classed as metro, and hence no loos?
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stuving
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2022, 09:59:47 am »

I presume the 701s are classed as metro, and hence no loos?

On the contrary; among SWR's effusive introduction to their Arterios:
Quote
The entire Arterio fleet offers free onboard Wi-Fi so customers can answer emails and search the web on the go. Live on-train customer information systems will deliver real-time travel information, allowing our customers to plan their onward journeys whilst still onboard.

Fully accessible bioreactor Controlled Emission Toilets (CET (Controlled Emission Toilet)), including for those using wheelchairs, will be available across the entire fleet. These types of toilets are the first to be rolled out on an entire UK (United Kingdom) fleet and are used in Europe, including the Netherlands and Switzerland. CET toilets biologically and thermally treat waste to produce wastewater which is compliant with EU» (European Union - about) bathing water standards. Once the trains are introduced, there will be 1 toilet per every 5-car train and 2 per every 10-car train.

There will be several multi-use spaces available, where seating can be tipped up to accommodate prams or luggage, as well as overhead storage racks above the 2 by 2 seating. Dedicated wheelchair spaces are available on each new Arterio train, with 2 and 4 spaces in every five-car and ten-car train respectively.

There are dedicated cycle racks available across the fleet meaning customers can safely and conveniently store their bicycles. For every five-car train, 3 bike spaces will be made available for customers, and 6 spaces on every ten-car train.

Most of that material is from 2020 - a year after and their first due date - and now all actual dates have been removed, leaving this:
Quote
When can customers ride the first Arterio?

We are committed to ensuring our customers, and the communities we serve, can benefit from extra capacity, better quality, and more comfortable and reliable services as soon as possible. We'll update customers in due course on when the first train will be arriving at your station.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2022, 11:54:40 am by stuving » Logged
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