Representatives from Rock Rail joined the Bombardier and South Western Railway teams, together with members of the rail media, at the Bombardier production facilities in Derby for the showcasing of the first new Class 701 AVENTRA train. There was the opportunity to see the units in production as well as experience first-hand the modern interior and operation of the train with a ride on board as it took to the test track.
In June 2017, Rock Rail secured the £1 billion financing for the new, 750-vehicle, electric multiple unit fleet, which will operate on the South Western suburban services between Reading, Windsor, and southwest London.
The Class 701s were designed, developed and are being built at the Bombardier’s Litchurch Lane facility, endorsing the skilled UK workforce, supporting a long-term workload for Bombardier and benefitting the UK economy.
Two thirds of the vehicles being replaced by the Class 701 trains are over thirty years old. As well as offering greater seating capacity, the new trains will also help transform passengers’ travel experience with free, reliable Wi-Fi, at-seat charging points, real-time information screens, air conditioning and wide gangways and doors.
The fleet consists of 60 ten-vehicle and 30 five-vehicle trains and they are expected to enter passenger service from mid-2020.