South Western Railway unveils refurbished Class 458 trains

Posted: 25 June 2024 | | No comments yet

South Western Railway has introduced its first refurbished Class 458 trains, featuring enhanced seating and charging facilities, to operate on suburban routes between London Waterloo and Weybridge and Twickenham.

South Western Railway unveils refurbished Class 458 trains

Credit: South Western Railway

South Western Railway (SWR) has announced that it has introduced the first of its refurbished Class 458 trains. The newly updated units, 458415, 458420 and 458422, will commence operation on eight-car services between London Waterloo and Weybridge via Brentford, as well as London Waterloo and Twickenham.

In total, 17 of SWR’s Class 458 fleet have undergone refurbishment, with an additional 11 units scheduled for updates. Each four-car train now features 234 seats arranged in a two-by-two formation, all equipped with seat back tables and charging points. Additionally, there is space for two wheelchair users in each unit. Unique to these trains are tables fitted with wireless charging points in every carriage.

Originally designed for the route between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour via Guildford, the refurbished trains have been redirected to suburban services in response to changing travel patterns post-COVID-19. This adjustment is part of SWR’s strategy to optimise its services while awaiting the complete roll-out of its new fleet of 90 Arterio trains.

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The refreshed interiors and updated livery of the Class 458 trains now align them closely with SWR’s 444 and 450 Desiro fleets. Although there are two first-class compartments with tables and 12 seats, these have been declassified for suburban services and are accessible to standard class ticket holders.

Neil Drury, South Western Railway’s Engineering and Infrastructure Director, commented on the introduction, stating, “We are very pleased to introduce the first of our refurbished Class 458 units. Their interior refresh, including improved seating and newly installed tables and charging points, will make a noticeable difference to our customers’ journeys. The Class 458/4 fleet will play an important role as we work towards the full introduction of our fleet of 90 new Arterio trains. The first unit to enter service will operate services between London Waterloo and Weybridge via Hounslow, with subsequent units being deployed where customers need them most.”

SWR’s move to refurbish and redeploy these trains reflects a commitment to adapting to evolving passenger needs and improving the travel experience on its network.