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10 Oct 2023

Better journeys promised as Southeastern sets out progress on train upgrades

Better journeys promised as Southeastern sets out progress on train upgrades: Class 707s being prepared at Gillingham depot

  • 12 more Class 707 ‘City Beam’ trains join Southeastern – new to the Metro area
  • Upgrade of Mainline Class 375 fleet nears completion
  • Refurbishment of Class 395 Highspeed fleet now underway
  • Procurement exercise looking at trains for the future

Southeastern has set out its latest plans for the refurbishment and upgrade of its train fleet.

The train operator, serving south-east London, Kent and parts of East Sussex, will have completed the introduction of its Class 707 ‘City Beam’ trains in its Metro area by December, with another three pairs now introduced to the Grove Park, Hayes and Dartford lines.

The final 12 of these modern, air-conditioned trains, refreshed and refurbished to Southeastern’s standards, complete the introduction of the fleet of 30 and are part of the train operator’s drive to provide a better, more reliable and sustainable railway.


The train operator has summarised its fleet plans as follows:

  • Better Metro: The completion of the Class 707 ‘City Beam’ introduction by December, with six of the final 12 trains (out of 30 in total) already in service
  • Better Mainline: The Class 375 upgrade is due to complete in March 2024, bringing three-point plugs and USB power sockets to these trains for the first time as well as new LED lighting and energy metering – like your smart meter at home, allowing us to better understand the amount of energy we’re using to power our trains.
  • Better High Speed: The Class 395 ‘Javelin’ refurbishment is under way, with two out of 29 trains upgraded, with a full interior refresh including new carpets and seats, USB at-seat charging, a CCTV system upgrade, a live passenger information system (PIS) upgrade including media screens (from 2024) and new LED lighting (from 2025).

Mark Johnson, Southeastern’s Engineering Director, said:

“The upgrade of our train fleet is just one aspect of our drive towards a better, more reliable and more sustainable railway.

“Our Class 707 ‘City Beam’ trains are lighter, with open, accessible interiors including two wheelchair spaces every five carriages, plus bigger windows flooding the train with light. The air-conditioned carriages with improved ventilation and heating will mean a more pleasant travelling environment whatever the time of year.

“They’re also smarter trains, with better on-board information showing space available in each carriage, plus free Wi-Fi and handy plug sockets so you can keep charged up and connected”.

In addition, work continues on the procurement process we started in November 2022 for a future train fleet that could operate in both our Metro area and some mainline routes.

Contact information

David Meechan

Communications Manager - Major Programmes

Notes to editors

Caption: Picture shows the 19th and 20th Class 707 ‘City Beam’ trains being prepared for service at Southeastern’s Gillingham train maintenance depot.

The introduction of new trains to the network means that an equivalent number of Class 465 and Class 466 ‘Networkers’ dating from the 1990s have been removed from service. These trains will be placed into storage when not needed by Southeastern.

About Southeastern

SOUTHEASTERN is owned by SE Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s public sector owning group, ‘DOHL’. DOHL has responsibility for four rail companies, LNER, Northern Trains Limited, TransPennine Trains Limited and SE Trains.

Southeastern is the trading name of SE TRAINS LIMITED. Registered in England under company 03266762. Registered office address: Second Floor, 4 More London Riverside, London SE1 2AU.

SE Trains Limited is a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort Limited - ‘DOHL’.


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