September start for Southeastern ‘707s’

Southeastern has confirmed it will begin introducing Class 707 EMUs cascaded from South Western Railway when it uplifts its timetable in September. Initially a preview service will operate, with a full service in 2022 once the 30-strong fleet has fully transferred from SWR. Southeastern has said the ‘707s’ will be deployed on the Hayes line and on services to Sevenoaks and Dartford. They are being displaced from SWR by the arrival of Class 701 Arterio units on inner-suburban routes out of Waterloo.

In the meantime, the operator has sent 6x4-car and 3x2-car Networker units into store at Worksop as it strives to make space at Slade Green depot and Grove Park sidings for the ‘707s’. While the Class 707 fleet was originally envisaged as a net addition to the Southeastern rolling stock pool, lower passenger numbers in the wake of the pandemic means they are now being seen as a replacement for the ageing Class 465s and 466s and it seems unlikely the units stored at Worksop will ever return to service.