Southeastern has confirmed that 30 “nearly new” trains are to come into service on the line through Charlton this autumn to replace some of its existing Networker stock, which is nearly 30 years old.
The Class 707 trains had been built to serve lines out of Waterloo, but were deemed surplus to requirements when South Western Railway took over the route in August 2017, just weeks after the first trains entered service.
Now the trains – which are very similar to the ones used by Thameslink – are being repainted blue to run on Southeastern’s metro lines to Dartford, as well as to Hayes and Sevenoaks. They will also have wi-fi, information screens and plug sockets.
They will replace some of the familiar Networker trains, which have been a common sight in the area since 1992, when they followed the old slam-door trains. A handful of Networkers have already been taken to Worksop, Nottinghamshire, for storage.
David Statham, Southeastern’s managing director, said: “Bringing in modern, reliable trains with more space is an important part of the work we are doing to encourage people back to rail travel.
“Following a great effort by everyone across the railway, I’m very pleased to confirm that our new trains are getting set to carry passengers later this year.
“The Class 707 represents a big investment in our train fleet and I’m really looking forward to welcoming our customers aboard.”
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