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Class 701 'Aventra' trains for South Western Railway

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2 Jun 2023
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238
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Richmond
What exactly is the point of continuing to operate the four unadvertised passenger trips daily Mon-Fri given that no training is taking place? Is it just to maintain the competency of the small number of staff who were initially trained?
I'd assume so but I was talking to an SWR driver I know and he says the units are still unstable software wise. No two units have the same bugs, so they can't be relied on for training. The reason why some of the units have only seen a few days of running publicly is because they've developed software issues. He also notes there's a lot going on in the background but doesn't take way from the fact the trains aren't ready yet.
 
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Goldfish62

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I'd assume so but I was talking to an SWR driver I know and he says the units are still unstable software wise. No two units have the same bugs, so they can't be relied on for training. The reason why some of the units have only seen a few days of running publicly is because they've developed software issues. He also notes there's a lot going on in the background but doesn't take way from the fact the trains aren't ready yet.
Ah, thanks for that. At last an explanation for the current situation!

This of course must mean that while back in January it really did look like introduction was certain soon it's now back to the position that it may not even be this year. Or even next year.
 

ls2270

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24 Oct 2012
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IMG_3121.jpegMy first ride on one today. 701043 although not showing an allocation on RTT.
 

DelW

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What exactly is the point of continuing to operate the four unadvertised passenger trips daily Mon-Fri given that no training is taking place? Is it just to maintain the competency of the small number of staff who were initially trained?
My admittedly somewhat cynical suspicion is that SWR has a KPI (key performance indicator) of "Class 701s in service", and that was defined as minimum four passenger services per day. Therefore the current two off-timetable round trips to Windsor, while useless from a passenger viewpoint, might be enough to tick the KPI box and trigger benefits and bonuses. Trebles all round, as Private Eye puts it when exposing similar management shenanigans elsewhere.

It's the same mindset that regards a train arriving on time but without most of its passengers (as a connection wasn't held) as being better than one arriving five minutes late with those passengers on board.
 

Big Jumby 74

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Quite normal to see stock like that in the old Eastern Bloc.
Often the case in many a depot here (UK) also, when cleaning (train presentation) staff are going through stock doing their thing. Just unfortunate (perhaps) being on 48 road and North side to boot, it is open to public gaze. 48 and 49 roads in past times were seldom used for stabling, everything berthed being within the security fence between 47 & 48 roads, but capacity issues, as have been discussed often, mean beggars can't be choosers any more in the stabling context, and every inch of siding space is now required.....no surprises there...;)
 
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I wonder if it’s this split unit View attachment 154220
I think it's visible in this video from November last year (not mine):

The 10 car unit second in from the left in the opening shot (parked outside, along the side of the shed) is unbranded and appears to have the remnants of mounting points in the pantograph wells, which would point to it being 701001. You can also see 005, 007, 010, 501 and 502 here, plus another (unidentified) unit poking out of the shed.
 

lewisf

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21 Feb 2009
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348
Location
Kingston/Surbiton
Why are there so many software problems preventing these from entering service when the 710, 720 and 730 fleets are all in regular (not just 2 return trips a day) service?
 

Goldfish62

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My admittedly somewhat cynical suspicion is that SWR has a KPI (key performance indicator) of "Class 701s in service", and that was defined as minimum four passenger services per day. Therefore the current two off-timetable round trips to Windsor, while useless from a passenger viewpoint, might be enough to tick the KPI box and trigger benefits and bonuses. Trebles all round, as Private Eye puts it when exposing similar management shenanigans elsewhere.
Wouldn't be surprised. Job done and a big fat bonus for the departing MD.
 

73128

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8 Dec 2019
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Reading
Late this morning I saw no less than three 701s in motion. Firstly 528 looking very shiny and on manoeuvres in Clapham yard, then shortly afterwards an unidentified unit passed through P5 on 5Q21 - clockwise via Hounslow loop, then later near Feltham I passed the waste of time "soft launch" service heading towards Waterloo.

What exactly is the point of continuing to operate the four unadvertised passenger trips daily Mon-Fri given that no training is taking place? Is it just to maintain the competency of the small number of staff who were initially trained?
they are advertised in that they appear on customer information screens at stations.
 

1D54

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1 Jun 2019
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551
Stating the bleeding obvious but it is absolutely shameful that millions of pounds worth of 'brand new' trains are idling around doing nothing! 001 if it doesn't head south in the next couple of months has spent TWO years at Worksop!! I was going to say words fail me but they don't any more..
 

Carlisle

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Is there anyone currently available who’s capable of giving the industry the shake up it needs right now ?
 
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43096

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They are in the official timetable for the day, e.g. see this example on RTT https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:Q16541/2024-03-14/detailed#allox_id=0 which shows the train category as "Ordinary Passenger".
But they are as much use as the proverbial "chocolate fireguard". They do nothing to address the chronic situation that SWR is in - it's capacity added at times when it is isn't needed. If they ran (say) on the Reading route in the slot of the old 1735 or 1805 from Waterloo they would actually be useful...
 

Goldfish62

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They are in the official timetable for the day, e.g. see this example on RTT https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:Q16541/2024-03-14/detailed#allox_id=0 which shows the train category as "Ordinary Passenger".
Ah yes, the ludicrous "timetable of the day" beloved of the railways.

Where's this going anyway? Are people really trying to convince me that these four trips a day are an integral part of SWR's service offering? If so then we're getting into truly bizarre territory.
 

AJDesiro

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10 May 2019
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Rugby
They are in the official timetable for the day, e.g. see this example on RTT https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:Q16541/2024-03-14/detailed#allox_id=0 which shows the train category as "Ordinary Passenger".
They are not in the working timetable though, they are always STP'd. But, yes, they're advertised on passenger systems as members of the "timetable for the day."
It could be worse, Avanti don't even offer the bi-annual timetables, instead offering a different PDF timetable for almost every day.
 

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