In 2014 South West trains introduced electrical multiple units (EMUS) on some routes from London Waterloo. This along with projects to lengthen platforms and trains on other services is just small part of an £800 million investment to improve rail services on the network. In 2015 South West trains ordered a number of Siemens class 707 EMUs for use on the Windsor to London Waterloo commuter service and the first body shell for the 707s was completed in October 2015 at the Siemen’s factory in Germany.
Last month testing of the 707s began in earnest at the Siemen’s dedicated test track in Widenrath, Germany. The state of the art testing site has been designed to test UK fleets to Network Rail standards and should keep disruption to UK train services to a minimum during the testing phase.
When they come into service in the spring of 2017, the Siemen’s 707s will carry more than 18,000 passengers on some of the busiest commuter routes between London Waterloo and Windsor. The new trains will be much more comfortable for commuters providing 30% more space at the busiest times of the day as well as climate control and wifi connections – all things commuters rate highly on their wish lists!
However, the new trains will not just bring improvements for commuters but also for track maintenance too. As well as being more energy efficient they are much lighter than existing rolling stock which will result in less wear and tear on tracks an=d less disruption to services for maintenance on tracks.
There is still some way to go before the whole fleet is built, tested and in service but the fact that this testing phase is on schedule is encouraging. 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.
PRV Engineering enjoys a successful alliance with the rail network and its suppliers. We work with Transport for London and the Underground Rail Network as well as providing other services such as track, track laying and maintenance equipment, overhead line equipment and high voltage switchgear.