Class 701 'Aventra' trains for South Western Railway

Nicholas Lewis

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The May 2022 unit diagrams for SWR have been produced on the basis of having no 701s or 707s in traffic. It will mean more shortening of mainline services to free up 450s but the plan is definitely there.
Just shows you then that SWR has too many units and once all the 701's are in traffic there will be no ned for the 458's
 
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DelW

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Just shows you then that SWR has too many units and once all the 701's are in traffic there will be no ned for the 458's
That depends how much demand recovers, the SWR timetable still has a lot of pre 2019 services missing.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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That depends how much demand recovers, the SWR timetable still has a lot of pre 2019 services missing.
Can't see peak hour traffic ever coming back to pre covid levels around London and in the short term DfT happy to see PIXC for the rush hour. In the long run this ought to be good for the railways but those with an influx of stock predicated on pre covid 2019 demand forecasts will have too much stock. This is SWR and GA for sure although ultimately it depends on whether DfT push to right size stock to service demand or not and suspect this will take GBR to realise that.
 

Goldfish62

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Those seats look like ironing boards but it seems to have a bit more of a cushion than the ironing boards used elsewhere so hopefully these seats will be better.
They're the "deluxe" version of ironing boards with extra padding and slightly wider cushions.
 

Mikey C

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Visually the aisle looks slightly wider than on the Des Cities, where the seats are squashed up against the wall
 

traji00

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Those seats look like ironing boards but it seems to have a bit more of a cushion than the ironing boards used elsewhere so hopefully these seats will be better.
Having been at the event, I had a brief sit down — in my opinion it’s better than the seat in the 707/717.

That said, a minor gripe I have is a lack of ‘perch’ seats (except near the front/back) and the bins look small compared to a 450/455.

Also surprised to see the GOP panel left wide open where someone from the RMT might see it. I thought contents were supposed to be secret, after all they still haven’t revealed how these trains will operate in regard to guards involvement.

GOP has: PA, Crew call, Door close, Signal buzzer, and local door switch.
(And it seems all the panels I’ve seen so far have some tape..)

Normal mode of operation is Driver Open, Driver Close — dispatch responsibility may be retained by guards ‘for degraded working’.
 

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Snow1964

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Having been at the event, I had a brief sit down — in my opinion it’s better than the seat in the 707/717.

That said, a minor gripe I have is a lack of ‘perch’ seats (except near the front/back) and the bins look small compared to a 450/455.

Not personally a fan of seats over wide ducting so have to sit at an angle to put feet on the floor.

Don’t really understand why the ducting is fat, and only goes halfway up to the seats, rather than half the width but taller, to give better seating posture
 

dorsetdesiro

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Out of curiosity, are all the 701s Bombardier branded even after the Alstom takeover or only the later built ones are Alstom branded? Also wondering if there may be "bodges" such as having both Bombardier & Alstom logos there and there
 

Mikey C

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Out of curiosity, are all the 701s Bombardier branded even after the Alstom takeover or only the later built ones are Alstom branded? Also wondering if there may be "bodges" such as having both Bombardier & Alstom logos there and there
They've taken so long to go into service, they're probably BREL branded :E
 

Goldfish62

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Not personally a fan of seats over wide ducting so have to sit at an angle to put feet on the floor.

Don’t really understand why the ducting is fat, and only goes halfway up to the seats, rather than half the width but taller, to give better seating posture
Depends on the shape of what's behind the ducting. And indeed what is behind the ducting given that these units supposedly have underfloor heating?
 

Bessie

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One of the SWR drivers I follow on Twitter has indicated 701 driver training will be commencing shortly. ASLEF have signed off the cabs. Depot drivers trained first then mainline drivers. Will enable last 707s to move across as scheduled in the summer. Ties in with the recent PR event at Waterloo - ie: SWR wouldn't go to that effort unless they knew 701s would be entering service this year.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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One of the SWR drivers I follow on Twitter has indicated 701 driver training will be commencing shortly. ASLEF have signed off the cabs. Depot drivers trained first then mainline drivers. Will enable last 707s to move across as scheduled in the summer. Ties in with the recent PR event at Waterloo - ie: SWR wouldn't go to that effort unless they knew 701s would be entering service this year.
Good to hear and its key the industry learns lessons from this to avoid a repeat again.
 

hwl

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Not personally a fan of seats over wide ducting so have to sit at an angle to put feet on the floor.

Don’t really understand why the ducting is fat, and only goes halfway up to the seats, rather than half the width but taller, to give better seating posture
Try having a looking at the profile of the outside of the train...

The width of the duct is defined by the loading gauge requiring the floor to be much narrower than further up the vehicle sides.
All they have done is add a bit of extra height for cabling above the that.
By attempting to make the unit more spacious higher up the body the effect is more pronounced.
This is also slightly accentuated by the 20m Aventras (701 & 710) being wider than the 22.Xm units (345) which are in turn wider than the 24.Xm Aventra (720 and 730s).

Might I suggest you blame numerous Victorians infrastructure engineers rather than Bombardier/Alstom?

Depends on the shape of what's behind the ducting. And indeed what is behind the ducting given that these units supposedly have underfloor heating?

Worth having a look here:
(should start at the right time automatically)

The answer is not much and zero at actual floor level
 

fgwrich

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One of the SWR drivers I follow on Twitter has indicated 701 driver training will be commencing shortly. ASLEF have signed off the cabs. Depot drivers trained first then mainline drivers. Will enable last 707s to move across as scheduled in the summer. Ties in with the recent PR event at Waterloo - ie: SWR wouldn't go to that effort unless they knew 701s would be entering service this year.
Indeed it's rather taken them by surprise but thankfully, as with the PR event the other day and the mention plan to get the fleet into service, things are finally starting to progress with the 701 fleet (and yes, a number of units have finally been handed over to SWR this month as a result). So, only 3 and a bit years late, but they are coming.
 
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Good to see that little to no effort has been made to align seats with windows...

I can't see how hard it would be to switch one row of seats round 180 degrees, it'd be much better
The majority of the customers, when I go in in the morning are all glued to their phones or tablets or laptops. They just want a seat and if more seats means no lining up, I honestly don't think many would be bothered.
 

gabrielhj07

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The majority of the customers, when I go in in the morning are all glued to their phones or tablets or laptops. They just want a seat and if more seats means no lining up, I honestly don't think many would be bothered.
I certainly agree with that.

It's a shame that we now seem to view travelling as a means to an end, rather than something to be enjoyed in its own right. Even if they treat commuters like cattle, it'd be nice for TOCs to take at least some interest in the few customers that might want to enjoy their journey.
 

Mikey C

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I certainly agree with that.

It's a shame that we now seem to view travelling as a means to an end, rather than something to be enjoyed in its own right. Even if they treat commuters like cattle, it'd be nice for TOCs to take at least some interest in the few customers that might want to enjoy their journey.
Commuters are probably the people with least interest in looking out of the window, seeing that they will be doing the same journey hundreds, indeed thousands of time, often in the dark...

Leisure customers hopefully will have more seats to choose from, and can choose seats with better views out
 

Wyrleybart

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I certainly agree with that.

It's a shame that we now seem to view travelling as a means to an end, rather than something to be enjoyed in its own right. Even if they treat commuters like cattle, it'd be nice for TOCs to take at least some interest in the few customers that might want to enjoy their journey.
Isn't that what the vast majority of railway passengers have done in the last 170 years ?
Only a minority of folk actually travel on trains to enjoy the view and experience, although that includes Pullmans, excursions and land cruises etc
 

InOban

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Indeed one of the attractions of the train is the ability to work en route. The outside view is a distraction !
 

Gag Halfrunt

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If I remember correctly GB Railfreight provide the drivers for Class 701 test trains, so you probably saw a GBRf driver wearing a GBRf jacket.
 

PG

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They could’ve given the front a quick clean :|
Or touched up the front left buffer beam height paint :s

It's never been a secret that there's GOPs,
Would GOP be a Guards Operating Panel I'm guessing?

Not personally a fan of seats over wide ducting so have to sit at an angle to put feet on the floor.
While I've read the explanation given by @hwl (thanks) it's a valid point as you end up with various aches and pains from being forced to sit awkwardly.
Okay for prosthetic leg wearers though :lol:

Good to hear and its key the industry learns lessons from this to avoid a repeat again.
Sounds like a classic government ministers quote. You are Grayling and I claim my £5 :p
 

railwaytrack

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Having been at the event, I had a brief sit down — in my opinion it’s better than the seat in the 707/717.

That said, a minor gripe I have is a lack of ‘perch’ seats (except near the front/back) and the bins look small compared to a 450/455.



GOP has: PA, Crew call, Door close, Signal buzzer, and local door switch.
(And it seems all the panels I’ve seen so far have some tape..)

Normal mode of operation is Driver Open, Driver Close — dispatch responsibility may be retained by guards ‘for degraded working’.
It sounds like the door control panel is very similar or the same as the 375/377/387 trains if it just has a door close and a signal bell button? Does the local door switch allow the Guard to open the door or is it just for closing the door like on the 375/377/387 trains?

I know that the Driver will open the doors and close the doors on the 701s but will the Guard still be required to look out of the door at every stop to check the platform for disabled people needing assistance like the Southern OBS do? Or is it planned to be like on AGA where the Guards will not be required to do anything at stations?
 

TEW

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It will probably be somewhere between the two. No requirement to operate a local door at every station or get out on the platform, but the expectation of a quick look.
 

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