THE BREAKTHROUGH with achieving multi-unit operation of Class 710s is key to unlocking future service introductions for Bombardier’s Aventra platform, according to Matt Byrne, Bombardier Transportation’s President, UK Region. Mr Byrne told Modern Railways the finalisation of software allowing introduction of ‘710s’ operating in pairs will demonstrate the capabilities of the Aventras and opens the door to allow other programmes to follow.

The next Aventra contracts for Bombardier are Class 720s to Greater Anglia and Class 701s for South Western Railway: Mr Byrne said Bombardier is looking to sell trains to both operators during Quarter 2 of this year (April to June). ‘The Class 710 has around 4,500 functionalities for single-unit operation and 1,500 more for multi-unit operation’ Mr Byrne explained. ‘But there are only around 250 more functionalities needed to read across for the “720s” and “701s”.

As of early March, the manufacturer had only three Crossrail vehicles and six Class 710 vehicles left to build, after which this production line will switch to Class 701s for SWR. A seventh production line will also be built this spring to support a Bombardier contract for 70x4-car monorail trains for Cairo, with the aim of completing the first car in spring 2021.