SWR business plan omits start date for new Arterios

South Western Railway’s new 2022-23 business plan contains no new information about its long-delayed £1 billion fleet of 90 new trains. 

It also drops plans for an increase in services in December, with passenger numbers remaining below expectations. 

Under a slogan of “We’re on a journey to better”, the 11-page document devotes more space to photographs than it does to commitments and promises. 

On the new Class 701 trains, it states: “We will introduce the new Arterio fleet as soon as possible, while minimising risk to our timetable, and continue to manage the Arterio programme in line with our obligations.”

The fleet of 750 Alstom-built vehicles from Derby had been due to enter service in 2019. However, the Aventra-platform trains have been beset by numerous faults ever since and have yet to carry a single passenger.

The business plan acknowledges that these faults have prevented the start of driver training and train acceptance. 

It states that 2022-23 actions include “agreeing with the Department for Transport the rollout milestones for our Arterio fleet”. But it avoids actually promising the fleet rollout. 

To read the full story, see RAIL 963

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