A major fleet improvement programme is underway at Southeastern, which will help us to provide a better, more reliable and sustainable railway.

The investment in our rolling stock includes upgrades to the current fleet, as well as exploring how we can replace the older trains that operate on our Metro routes.

You can find full details about our extensive improvement programme below.

The target

  • Better Metro: 28 trains now available for service, and all 30 of our City Beam trains will be here in 2024, providing our newest trains yet.
  • Better Mainline: The first phase of the Class 375 upgrade completed at the end of March 2024, bringing three-point plugs and USB power sockets to these trains for the first time as well as new LED lighting and energy metering.
  • Better Highspeed: The Class 395 refurbishment is under way and by the summer of 2024 half of the fleet will have been upgraded with a full interior refresh.

The fleet improvement programme

Metro trains

Southeastern announced an important step towards delivering a multi-million pound investment to improve our fleet of Metro trains.

Across our network, we are working with our partners at Network Rail, to improve performance, expand our timetable, enhance our stations and increase the number of staff available.

The final piece of the jigsaw will be the replacement of our aging metro fleet.

Southeastern is inviting competitive offers for new, refurbished or modern cascaded rolling stock for the benefit of customers and taxpayers. In this video our Managing Director explains the potential benefits of new rolling stock for our customers.

This could be the largest investment in the Southeastern network since the introduction of the highspeed service in 2009 and is a key part of Southeastern goal of building a better, more reliable and sustainable railway.

These trains would run on our Metro routes to London terminals across south east London as well as selected locations in Kent including Dartford, Sevenoaks, Grove Park and Gillingham.

Southeastern Network Metro Map

Download Southeastern Metro Network Map PDF

The precise details of the improved fleet will be developed during the next stage of the procurement process but improvements could include:

  • Improved accessibility to maximise unassisted boarding – developed alongside the RSSB, Network Rail and manufacturers
  • Brighter and more spacious interiors to provide more space for more customers on our growing railway
  • Improved air conditioning to provide a better and more comfortable environment, particularly as our summers become warmer
  • Improved customer information to keep customers up to date and help them to plan any onward journeys
  • More reliable trains with improved acceleration and braking to help deliver a more punctual and low cancellation railway
  • Equipped with batteries to keep trains running in the event of power supply failure as well as enhancing safety in stations, depots and sidings

The City Beam (Class 707)

The City Beam was introduced onto our network in September 2021 and these light, bright and spacious trains have proved to be very popular with our customers. We have 28 five-car trains available for service on the Dartford, Hayes and Grove Park routes, and we have two more units still to transfer over from South Western Railway (SWR).

Having a full fleet of 30 City Beams will mean that even more customers on our busier Metro routes will be able to enjoy travelling on our newest trains.

Our fast trains – Highspeed (Class 395)

The Class 395 operates on our two highspeed routes from London St Pancras via Ashford and via Ramsgate. In partnership with the maintenance company Hitachi Rail and the owning company, Eversholt Rail, we are carrying out a £27m upgrade of the 29 trains in the fleet.

This upgrade will future proof the UK’s only highspeed passenger fleet, which has already delivered record levels of reliability, customer satisfaction and a £1 billion+ boost to the Kent tourism economy since 2009.

The £27m improvement programme includes:

  • Full interior refresh, with new carpets, new seats and change to the layout that will assist people with reduced mobility.
  • At seat power sockets for mobile and laptop use.
  • Enhanced LED lighting.
  • More CCTV to aid on-board safety and monitor space availability.

When the upgrade has been completed it will bring the Class 395’s up to the very latest standards, and ensure that comfort levels, accessibility and information provision are as high as they possibly can be for our customers.

Watch a short video about the Highspeed Class 395 train:

Our star trains – Electrostars (Class 375, 376 & 377)

All 112 of the Class 375 ‘Electrostar’ train fleet that operate on our routes serving Kent, East Sussex and mainline London stations have received at-seat power sockets, including USB points, new LED lighting and energy metering.

The at-seat power sockets provide commuters and leisure passengers with the ability to work or browse on the move, without worrying about running down the battery on their device.