Southeastern has issued a notice to train manufacturers that it’s looking to buy a new fleet of trains, with between 350 and 570 carriages to go into service by late 2027.

Southeastern says that it’s looking to buy the new fleet of trains to replace a “significant quantity of Southeastern’s ageing fleet”, with the main aim of reducing its cost of maintaining the older fleet of trains.

In the tender, the train company said that the core order will be between 350 and 570 carriages, with an option for up to 70 additional vehicles. The variability of the order is due to the company still working out the financing for the new trains, and how maintenance would be carried out. Southeastern is also looking at buying more trains in the future, if passenger demand requires it.

Although the tender document doesn’t say which trains will be replaced, Southeastern’s oldest trains are its Networker trains – Class 465 and 466, which average 30 years old at the moment, and the train company has 588 carriages for those older trains. That coincidentally matches closely the tender document requirement for replacement train carriages.

Class 465 train at Gravesend (c) Southeastern

The key requirements for the new trains are that they can work across the entire network, except HS1, come with toilets and air conditioning and have interiors that are suitable for metro and mainline operation.

They also need to come with battery capacity not only to support movement in depots where third-rail power is not available but also to be able to run for up to 20 miles on the mainline network without power, should there be interruptions to the power supply.

The contract would be for both supplying the trains and their ongoing maintenance, initially for between 6-10 years, with an option to extend to at least 35 years, the minimum expected lifespan of the new trains.

The companies that express an interest will be invited to negotiate the terms later in 2023 before the tender is finally issued.

This article was published on ianVisits


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