The UK's South West Trains (SWT) has taken delivery of the first Class 707 Desiro City train from a new £210m fleet built by Siemens ahead of testing.

Testing is due to begin shortly on a pair of five-carriage trains, with the first one of these expected to enter passenger service in April.

Once all trains are rolled-out by November next year, 30 trains, comprising 150 carriages will provide space for additional passengers.

SWT managing director Christian Roth said: “It is fantastic to see the first of our new trains arrive on our network. They are a vital part of the Waterloo & South West Upgrade, which will provide a 30% increase in capacity for passengers during the busiest times of the day.

“As well as the extra capacity, the trains offer vastly improved passenger facilities with more space and better onboard information, helping to improve thousands of journeys every day."

The trains with a capacity to accommodate about 11,000 passengers on a weekday will run between London Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside, including the Hounslow Loop and Weybridge through Brentford.

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They offer benefits such as free passenger WiFi throughout, space for around 800 passengers, open-ended carriages and new climate control system to monitor the number of passengers onboard.

New onboard passenger information will provide real-time updates on information, including London Underground services.

"They are a vital part of the Waterloo & South West Upgrade, which will provide a 30% increase in capacity for passengers."

Siemens Rail Systems business in the UK managing director Steve Scrimshaw said: "The arrival of the first 707 unit marks the start of a demanding fleet introduction programme working in partnership with South West Trains.

“We are looking forward to starting testing in the New Year and handing over the first trains in late-Spring."

The trains are also lighter and more energy efficient, reducing the impact on the environment and track.

Siemens has already carried out a significant amount of testing to help the new trains be introduced to passenger service.

Following the introduction of new trains, a number of remaining South West Trains vehicles are planned to be moved to other parts of the SWT network.


Image: Class 707 Desiro City train. Photo: courtesy of South West Trains.