Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

SWR’s Class 707 Desiro City units

As the title suggests this is about the Class 707s that are still in service with South Western Railway. Their days with SWR are numbered though because once the lease is up those will be transferred to South Eastern – who so far have 18 Class 707 units (nine ten car units) repainted in a striking blue livery and marketed under their City Beam banner. The first of these were introduced in September 2021. Originally the SWR lease was to end in April 2022, however the lease has been extended to August 2022 – so there’s a few more months yet to see these on SWR’s Metro services.

Before we move on, this isn’t a comprehensive write up on the 707s. Rather its a photographic essay composed of pictures I have taken of the 707s these last two years or so. I’m trying to ensure there is some UK railway content between the numerous International themed rail articles I am producing and so far I have managed that to an extent however this week I realised I had a gap. Fortunately a ride on a 707 today between Waterloo and Clapham Junction got me thinking, what if I posted some stuff on the 707s instead? That’s how this post got drawn up! I’ve got many photographs of the Desiro 707s also in their new role as South Eastern City Beam trains, but that’s material for another post.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

Desiro City 707021 at Waterloo 20 January 2022. I took this view especially with the station’s iconic Ransome and Rapier 1930s style hydraulic buffer stops in mind!

Its said on both Wikipedia and SWR’s own pages that the 707s are to be found on Weybridge and Windsor services, however an enormous number of Shepperton services are also covered by the 707s. In fact it has seemed to me far more likely these days to find a 707 on a Shepperton service, thus in my personal experience its either the Windsor or Shepperton services one needs to catch if they want to ride a Desiro City 707. The 707s have nearly always been a feature of the current Shepperton services, so I don’t know why those aren’t listed. Sometimes its 450s or 455s on the Sheppertons but its almost always 707s. The Weybridge (via Hounslow) services however are mostly served by Class 450s with a handful of Class 455s and 707s.

What it means is one is likely to find a Desiro City train either on platforms 1-6 or platforms 20-24 at Waterloo. The former will be on Shepperton (via Kingston) services and the latter will be on Windsor (via Staines) services. The 707s have also been seen on the occasional Reading services and too on stopping services to Woking both direct via Surbiton and via Addlestone although I’d think the former situation (eg direct via Weybridge) is extremely unlikely these days. On Sundays however the Addlestone services still divert via the Byfleets instead and that’s the one day a week a 707 would be likely to be spotted at Woking.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707014 at the country end of Waterloo station. 20th January 2022. 707021 is at the rear.

The 707s have also been to Guildford via Surbiton and via Epsom, Hampton Court and even to Dorking as this page shows. This would have no doubt occurred when SWR had a full fleet of 30 five car (or 15 ten car) units. With more than half the fleet now transferred to South Eastern, I’d think its extremely unlikely to see the Class 707s on any services other than Kingston/Shepperton and Staines/Windsor so these are the best bet for a ride on a 707.

The order of photographs I have put these in are outwards from Waterloo to Weybridge. The furthest I have been on a 707 is Kingston, but I have seen a couple of 707s at Weybridge from other services passing on the SWR main line.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707023 at platform 24 (the old Waterloo International station.) 13th January 2022. It was meant to be on a Weybridge via Addlestone service (but this like others had been cancelled.) Practically the entire SWR service was screwed up by various incidents on that day (including signal failures and lineside fatalities.) Just the Reading/Windsor trains were running any sort of normal service.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

Unidentified 707 at the down side of International Junction, just outside Waterloo. Likely to be on Windsor service, it has come along the reversible line and is about to cross to the down Windsor. 2nd July 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707015 on a Windsor service. The location is Lambeth, almost by the River Thames (which can be briefly glimpsed before Vauxhall station.) 21st September 2020.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707023 (707016 at rear) seen at Vauxhall – again this is a Windsor service. 7th October 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707021/707014 (front) at Vauxhall on a Shepperton working. 14th October 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707002 (with 707030 at rear) approaching Clapham Junction with a Shepperton service. SWR’s other trains are seen here these being the Class 455s (nearest) and Class 450s (in the old South Western trains blue livery.) 7th October 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707030 (700002 at the front.) Evidently 030 is an important one judging by the way the number has been cleaned up! Its probably because this is the highest numbered unit of the batch of 30 Desiro City Class 707s. 7th October 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707016 at Clapham Junction. 14th October 2021. The station buildings seen here are from from the early 1900s thus these are 120 years or so in age! There’s been various proposals to rebuild the station as its urgently required, however COVID and other factors have pushed development proposals back enormously. To date its only certain parts of the station that have been upgraded including new staircases and lifts which help to alleviate the severe overcrowding that can occur.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707014 at Clapham Junction with someone enjoying a rest at the end of the platform! 20th January 2022. 10 Foot Flash’s tag is everywhere around Clapham Junction station (as well as numerous other places on London’s railway network.)

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707016 at Clapham Junction (Windsor lines side) on a Windsor and Eton Riverside service. 7th October 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707016 seen again this time at at Raynes Park on a Waterloo service. I took these pictures specially for my post on London’s cutest signal gantry. The date is appropriate this being the 16th of June 2021!

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707020 at Raynes Park on a Shepperton service. I shot this from a fast evening up train. 21st September 2020.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707013 at Kingston en route for Waterloo, having come from Shepperton. 7th October 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

Unidentified 707 at Weybridge with the guard waiting for the off to be given before starting out for Waterloo via Addlestone, Staines and Hounslow. 2nd July 2021.

Hyde Park Now-SWR's Class 707 Desiro City units

707021 at Weybridge – again a Waterloo via Addlestone, Staines, Hounslow service. 27th November 2021. These pics of the 707s at Weybridge were taken from westbound trains passing non stop.