South West Trains - B

South West Trains - B
South West Trains Ticketing
South West Trains Travelcards
London Travelcards were available and widely used for journeys into Greater London beyond any of the South West Trains stations. They were valid on London Buses, Tramlink, Docklands Light Railway, London Underground and national rail services within the London travelcard area. All tickets and (London) Travelcards were available on weekly, monthly and annual bases (such tickets are traditionally known as season tickets), a pre-requisite for which is a passport-sized photograph for a booking hall to issue a nationally valid railcard. All ticket pricing structures are regulated by the Office of Rail & Road.
Daily tickets fell into four categories:
  • Peak 'Anytime'.
  • Off Peak.
  • Super Off Peak.
  • Advance (pre-booked, long distance).

These were broken down into whether the user requires a Single, Return (valid for one calendar month) or a Day Return.

South West Trains Smartcards
Oyster pay-as-you-go could be used on services within Greater London. Oyster cards holding season tickets were accepted within the London Travelcard area, in the same way as normal paper Travelcards and season tickets.
In November 2010, the DfT announced that passengers would be able to top up Oyster cards at all stations operated by South West Trains in the London Travelcard area from May 2011. SWT was the last rail company franchise to offer this facility (except at Wimbledon and Richmond stations) for passengers using suburban rail services within the London Travelcard area.
The smartcard scheme for tickets on the national rail system was extended in early 2010 to cover the lines from Weymouth to Basingstoke and from Staines to Wokingham, and on the Isle of Wight, in addition to the current trial area between Staines and Windsor. It was also announced that SWT proposed to reduce operating hours at 24 of its ticket offices.
South West Trains Penalty Fares
South West Trains issued penalty fares for passengers travelling by train without a valid ticket. However, the company had planned to install at least one self-service ticket machine at each of its served stations in the bid to stop fare evasion. In 2009, ticket gates were installed at Waterloo to improve revenue protection.
Stagecoach, SWT's parent company, sold seats on some off-peak services under the Megatrain brand from Mondays to Saturdays. This used a similar low-cost model to its Megabus service. Megatrain tickets were available on certain services expected to be lightly loaded. Tickets were generally between London Waterloo and other principal stations, and ticket-holders are assigned to a specific train.
South West Trains Performance
Latest performance figures released by Network Rail for period 5 (2014/15) were 88.2% (Public Performance Measure – PPM) and 88.9% (Moving Annual Average – MAA) for the 12 months up to 16 August 2014.
South West Trains Rolling Stock
South West Trains Electric
South West Trains Desiro Fleet
The introduction of Desiro rolling stock built by Siemens was to replace the old Class 411, Class 412, Class 421 and Class 423 slam-door trains, which were life-expired and did not meet modern health and safety requirements; a franchise commitment was to replace all slam-door stock by the end of 2005.
The Desiro trains have on-board information systems and full air-conditioning. Their faster acceleration is counterbalanced by the need to dwell longer at each station, since they have fewer doors.
The Desiro stock comes in two variants
  1. Class 450 units which have four 20 m cars and are mainly used on suburban and outer-suburban services.
  2. Class 444 units which have five 23 m cars as well as intercity-style door layouts and are used on longer-distance services to Weymouth and Portsmouth Harbour.
  • British Rail EMUs (Class 455)
South West Trains operated a fleet of Class 455 metro-style commuter trains on services from London Waterloo to Shepperton, Hampton Court, Woking, Guildford, Dorking and Chessington, as well as services on the Kingston and Hounslow loops and occasionally on Windsor line services. These were built for British Rail.
A full refurbishment programme started in 2004 on the fleet of 91 four-car units, and was completed in March 2008. Modifications included a new 2+2 seating layout with high-back seats, CCTV, cycle storage, wheelchair space, doors that open further to allow for faster alighting, and additional passenger information systems.
  • British Rail EMUs (Class 456)
All 24 Class 456 two-car EMUs were transferred from Southern to SWT, with the first units entering SWT service on 23 March 2014. These early 1990s-built units are compatible with the existing Class 455 fleet and are coupled with these to form ten-car trains, increasing capacity on some local services in and out of Waterloo.
Coradia Juniper fleet (Class 458/0 – 458/5)
Thirty of these four-car units were ordered by South West Trains in 1998, to create extra capacity and to replace some of the ageing Class 411 (4-CEP) trains, which at the time were on short-term lease. Deliveries of these trains began in 1998.
The class suffered major technical problems, so in the end, none of the older trains were withdrawn from service at that time. It was six more years, in 2004, before the full fleet was in service. In 2003 and 2004, reliability was so poor that, although they were only six years old, South West Trains decided that the units should be replaced by 2005 with the newer Class 450 Desiro units.
Only a handful of units were required each day to help maintain services from Waterloo to Reading, and these had been expected to cease after 31 July 2006, when the lease with the rolling stock company expired. An application by SWT to extend this by six months was refused, as the class did not meet all the requirements of disability legislation.
However, later it was decided that, on or before the start of the new franchise in February 2007, the class would be reinstated and take over all operations on the Waterloo to Reading line, indirectly covering the loss of the Class 442. They have been fitted with new, larger destination screens that comply with the disability legislation, but the trains still fall foul in some other areas, such as the height of the door-open buttons.
All 30 Class 458 trains were split up and the 120 vehicles reconfigured into 36 five-car sets, incorporating 60 extra vehicles from the mechanically similar Class 460 formerly used on Gatwick Express services. The five-car sets are now designated Class 458/5 and since 2014 have been coupled together to form ten-car trains.
The first two of the five-car sets were delivered in October 2013, and underwent testing ahead of the introduction of the first ten-car train into service in December 2013. Passenger service started in March 2014, with the work concluding in 2016, thereby rendering the Class 458/0 extinct.
South West Trains Diesel
South West Trains had 11 two-car Class 158 units and 30 three-car Class 159 units (22 Class 159/0 and eight Class 159/1).
The Class 159/1 units were converted at Wabtec, Doncaster from Class 158s, received from First TransPennine Express in exchange for Class 170s. Eleven further two-car Class 158 units were received from First TransPennine Express, which were also refurbished at Wabtec.
The Class 159 has on occasion been used for railtours.
South West Trains Locomotives
Although South West Trains did not operate locomotive-hauled services, until 2009 it maintained three Class 73 locomotives for recovery duties. Locomotive 73109 had been in service with SWT since the start of the franchise; the other two, 73201 and 73235, were acquired from Gatwick Express in 2005. 73235 was the only one of the three locomotives to be owned by South West Trains at the end of the Franchise.
Fleet at End of South West Trains Franchise
  • Class 73   Electro-diesel locomotive
Thunderbird Locomotive   1966
  • Class 158 Express Sprinter   DMU
London Waterloo – Salisbury / Exeter St Davids (Occasionally) / Bristol Temple Meads
Exeter St Davids – Honiton / Axminster (Weekday service)
Romsey – Salisbury via Southampton Central
Brockenhurst – Lymington Pier (Weekday services)   1989–1992
  • Class 159 South Western Turbo   DMU
West of England / Heart of Wessex / Wessex Main Lines: London Waterloo – Salisbury / Bristol Temple Meads / Exeter St Davids / Yeovil Pen Mill / Frome
Portsmouth Harbour – Basingstoke (Morning Service)
Portsmouth Harbour – Southampton Central (Occasionally)
Yeovil Junction – Yeovil Pen Mill (Peak Hours only)
  • 159/0: 1992–1993
  • 159/1: Converted 2006–2007
  • Class 444 Desiro   EMU
Main Line Routes: London Waterloo – Poole / Weymouth
London Waterloo – Portsmouth Harbour (Shared with Class 450s Weekdays and Sundays)
Limited Outer Suburban Routes   2003–2004
Main Line Routes: London Waterloo – Portsmouth Harbour (Shared with Class 444s weekdays and Sundays)/ Alton / Basingstoke / Poole (Occasionally) / Reading
Southampton Central – Portsmouth & Southsea
Brockenhurst – Lymington Pier (Weekend services)
  • Class 450 Desiro   EMU
Outer Suburban Routes: London Waterloo – Windsor & Eton Riverside / Weybridge via Staines-upon-Thames / London Waterloo via Hounslow
Ascot – Guildford
Limited Express and Inner suburban services   2002–2006
  • Class 455   EMU
Inner Suburban Routes: London Waterloo – Shepperton / Hampton Court / Woking / London Waterloo via Hounslow /London Waterloo via Strawberry Hill / Dorking / Guildford via Oxshott or Epsom / Chessington South / Windsor & Eton Riverside
2004–2007 (refurbished)
  • Class 456   EMU
Used on suburban services in conjunction with services operated by Class 455 units to make 8 & 10 coach trains.
Ascot – Guildford   1990–1991
  • Class 458/5 Coradia Juniper   EMU
Outer Suburban Services: London Waterloo – Weybridge / Windsor & Eton Riverside via Staines upon Thames   2013–2016
(199–2002 as Class 458/0)
(2000–2001 as Class 460)
  • Class 707 Desiro City   EMU
London Waterloo – Windsor & Eton Riverside via Staines upon Thames
Isle of Wight Fleet
  • Class 483   EMU
Ryde Pier Head – Shanklin
1938   1989–1992 (refurbished)
South West Trains Past Fleet
Former units operated by South West Trains include:
Class                                     Type    Number  Withdrawn 
Class 170 Turbostar               DMU     9            July 2007
Class 411 (4Cep)                     EMU      29         May 2005
Class 412 (4Bep)                                   7
Class 421 (4Cig)                                    32
Class 421 (3Cig)                                    2           May 2010
Class 423 (4Vep)                                   66         May 2005
Class 442 Wessex Electrics                 24         February 2007
Class 960                                   DMU   1           March 2009
Class 458/0 Coradia Juniper  EMU    30         2013–2015
Wessex Electrics Fleet
These Class 442 units were initially dedicated to the Weymouth line but, in the 1990s, began to be operated on the London to Portsmouth direct line also. In preparation for the Class 444 and Class 450 "Desiro" units taking over from the slam-door fleet, the Wessex Electrics were withdrawn from Portsmouth line services and were again wholly dedicated to the Weymouth line.
South West Trains announced that it would be withdrawing these units, and they last ran on 3 February 2007. This move coincided with SWT reinstating all Class 458s for the Waterloo–Reading line. As a result, the Class 444 inherited the Waterloo–Weymouth route and the Class 450 took over some Portsmouth Harbour services, while the Class 442 units went into storage at Eastleigh.
From 2008 to 2017, Southern leased these trains for its Gatwick Express service and operated them on services from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport and Brighton. Eighteen Class 442 units were supposed to return to the franchise when the changeover to South Western Railway occurred, but the fleet was withdrawn in 2021 and will now be replaced by modified class 458s.
Turbostar Fleet
In 2000, South West Trains acquired eight 2-car Class 170/3 units to supplement its existing Class 159 fleet. They were used on London to Salisbury services as well as a new Southampton local service, and on Reading to Basingstoke services. They were sometimes pressed into use on Waterloo-Exeter services but, as they were not fitted with end gangways for catering or selective door opening for the short platforms at some stations, this was not a regular route.
From late 2006 to mid-2007, the Class 170 units were gradually transferred to First TransPennine Express in exchange for a larger number of Class 158 units, to expand and standardise the fleet. One unit, 170392, originally built to Southern specifications but taken over by SWT soon after its construction, went to Southern and was converted to a Class 171.
South West Trains Overview
South West Trains Franchise(s):
South West
4 February 1996 – 3 February 2007
South Western
4 February 2007 – 20 August 2017
South West Trains Main region(s):
Greater London
Isle of Wight
South West Trains Other Region(s):
South West Trains Fleet Size: 373
1 Class 73 electro-diesel locomotive
11 Class 158 Express Sprinter sets
30 Class 159 South Western Turbo sets
45 Class 444 Desiro sets
127 Class 450 Desiro sets
91 Class 455 sets
24 Class 456 sets
36 Class 458 Juniper sets
2 Class 707 Desiro City sets
6 Class 483 sets
South West Trains Stations Called at: 213
South West Trains Stations Operated: 185 (including Island Line)
South West Trains Parent company: Stagecoach
South West Trains Reporting mark: SW
South West Trains Predecessor: Network SouthEast
Island Line (Island Line franchise)
South West Trains Successor: South Western Railway
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