British Rail Class 710

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British Rail Class 710
710122 Hackney Downs.jpg
London Overground Class 710 interior.jpg
The interior of a Class 710 unit
In service23 May 2019 – present
ManufacturerBombardier Transportation
Built atDerby Litchurch Lane Works
Family nameAventra
Number built54
  • 4 cars per 710/1 and 710/2 unit:
  • 5 cars per 710/3 unit:
Fleet numbers
  • 710101–710130
  • 710256–710273
  • 710374–710379
  • 4-car:
  • 189 seats plus 489 standees
  • 5-car:
  • 241 seats plus 641 standees
Operator(s)London Overground
Line(s) served
Car body constructionAluminium
Train length
  • 4-car: 82.87 m (271 ft 11 in)
  • 5-car: 102.86 m (337 ft 6 in)
Car length
  • DM vehs.: 21,446 mm (70 ft 4 in)
  • Others: 19,990 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width2,772 mm (9 ft 1 in)
Height3,760 mm (12 ft 4 in)
  • Double-leaf sliding plug
  • (2 per side per car)
Maximum speed75 mph (121 km/h)
  • 710/1: 144 tonnes (142 long tons; 159 short tons)
  • 710/2: 151 tonnes (149 long tons; 166 short tons)
  • 710/3: 182 tonnes (179 long tons; 201 short tons)
Electric system(s)
Current collector(s)
BogiesBombardier Flexx-Eco
Braking system(s)
Safety system(s)
Coupling systemDellner 12
Multiple working
  • Within class (up to 12 cars total)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Sourced from [1] unless otherwise noted.

The British Rail Class 710 Aventra is a type of electric multiple unit passenger train built by Bombardier Transportation for use on the London Overground network. The trains are part of Bombardier's Aventra family. The contract to provide 45 four-car trains was awarded in July 2015 and the trains were originally due to enter service in May 2018, although introduction was delayed until May 2019.[2]


Background and specifications[edit]

Class 710 sitting at Willesden Junction for a test run in April 2019

In 2012, Transport for London announced its intention to procure a fleet of new, longer DMUs, as the Class 172 units then in service were unable to handle the passenger demand, causing overcrowding throughout the day. TfL issued a tender for manufacturers to supply eight three- or four-car trains.[3] However, this proposal was subsequently shelved when the Government announced in June 2013 that the Gospel Oak to Barking line would be electrified,[4] with proposals instead to purchase a fleet of new EMUs.

TfL invited expressions of interest for a total of 39 four-car EMUs in April 2014, with 30 required for the Lea Valley Lines, eight for the Gospel Oak to Barking line, and one for the Romford–Upminster line - all of which have replaced Class 315 and Class 317 trains dating from the 1980s, and Class 172 trains dating from 2010.[5] Since then the planned procurement was increased to 45 four-car EMUs, with the additional six units intended for the Watford DC Line. The intention is that the five-car Class 378 trains currently used on the Watford DC line will be cascaded back to the North London line and East London Lines to allow for strengthened services. TfL issued an Invitation to Tender (ITT) in early 2015, and in June 2015 announced that Bombardier had been awarded the contract to build the new trains.[6]

In July 2015, TfL announced that it had placed a £260m order for 45 four-car Bombardier Aventra EMUs, with an option for 24 more four-car units plus further options to extend some or all units including option units to five cars. These are similar to the Class 345 and Class 720 trains that are currently used on the Elizabeth line and Greater Anglia services.[7]

The units are delivered in two sub-classes; an AC-only version for use on the Lea Valley lines and Romford–Upminster services, and a dual-voltage version for the Watford DC and Gospel Oak to Barking line services. Both versions will have all-longitudinal seating after the plan to have some transverse seats on the AC units was dropped. The AC only version is maintained at Ilford EMU Depot and the dual-voltage units at Willesden TMD.[8]

In 2017, Transport for London put forward a proposal to procure nine additional Class 710 units to be used as capacity enhancers. These would cover 42 of the 249 additional vehicle options, and would be formed into three 4-car sets, one which would be for use on Watford DC line and two for the extended Gospel Oak to Barking line to Barking Riverside, and six 5-car sets for use on the North London line and West London line, allowing a cascade of Class 378 units to increase services on the East London line.[9]


Class 710 at Leyton Midland Road

On 25 April 2018, the Islington Gazette reported that the trains would be introduced three months later than scheduled due to delays in their testing.[10]

On 20 June 2018 the Barking & Dagenham Post reported that the trains would be in service by November 2018, "almost 18 months later than planned".[11]

In November 2018, TfL said that they hoped the units would be in service by December 2018;[12] however, further delays prevented this.[13]

In January 2019, TfL announced that three Class 378 trains would temporarily be deployed on the Gospel Oak to Barking line while continued problems with the Class 710 units were resolved,[14] since leases on the existing Class 172 stock running on this line would come to an end before the 710's likely introduction into passenger service.

In April 2019, the Office of Rail and Road approved the use of the Class 710, with restrictions.[15]

On 22 May 2019 TfL announced that approval had been gained for the Class 710s to enter passenger service. The first two units entered service on the Gospel Oak to Barking line on Thursday 23 May 2019 and the remaining six were in service by August 2019, with the first unit entering service on the Watford DC line on 9 September 2019. The first units on the Lea Valley lines entered service on 3 March 2020 after a first attempt on 24 February 2020.[16] The services on the Romford-Upminster line started on 5 October 2020.[17] The Class 710/3 5 car units are operating on Watford DC line.


On 12 October 2021, the driver and a passenger were injured when an eight-car Class 710 train, headed by unit 710124, ran through the buffers at Enfield Town.[18][19] Following a post-crash drugs test that allegedly revealed traces of cocaine, the driver was arrested on suspicion of being unfit to work on a transport system through drink or drugs.[20][21]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. built Year built Cars per unit Unit nos. Description
710/1 London Overground 30 2017–2020 4 710101–710130 AC-only units for the Lea Valley lines and the Romford to Upminster line.
710/2 18 710256–710273 Dual-voltage units for the Gospel Oak to Barking and Watford DC lines.
710/3 6 5 710374–710379[22] Dual-voltage units for the Watford DC line.
Class 710 4-car unit

See also[edit]


  1. ^ On the Gospel Oak to Barking and Watford DC lines.


  1. ^ "Class 710 Stock - London Overground" (PDF). 2019. LO-01-02-03-48-04_01. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  2. ^ "New London Overground electric trains enter service". Transport for London. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  3. ^ "TfL seeks new Barking line trains as two-car '172s' struggle". Rail. No. 697. Peterborough. 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ Butcher, Louise (27 July 2017). Briefing Paper SN05907 - Rail electrification (PDF). House of Commons Library (Report). Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  5. ^ "More EMUs for London Overground". Railway Gazette. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Bombardier wins London Overground EMU contract". Railway Gazette. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  7. ^ "London Overground Train Operating Concession" (PDF). Transport for London Finance and Policy Committee. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016. ...with the introduction of a new fleet of Class 710 trains (the LOTRAIN)...
  8. ^ Rail Magazine, Issue 778, Page 14
  9. ^ "Nine more 710s for LO". Today's Railways (192): 11. December 2017.
  10. ^ Gelder, Sam (25 April 2018). "New Overground trains for Gospel Oak to Barking line delayed... by three months". Islington Gazette. Archant. ISSN 1478-5161. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  11. ^ Morton, Sophie (20 June 2018). "Finally! High-tech electric Overground trains to be introduced this year". Barking & Dagenham Post. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Update from TfL on Barking- Gospel Oak line". Andrew Dismore. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  13. ^ Anonymous (10 December 2018). "Gospel Oak to Barking Line". Mayor's Question Time. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Modified electric trains to be used temporarily on London Overground's Gospel Oak to Barking line". TfL. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  15. ^ Prosser, Ian (11 April 2019). "The Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011, as amended – Authorisation of Bombardier Class 710/2 Electric Multiple Units, single-unit operation only, fitted with AWS and TPWS (stand alone mode only), GSM-R voice only, maximum speed of 75 mph, 4-car dual voltage units 710256 to 710273 AC passenger operation only" (PDF). Letter to Paul Carter (Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd). London: Office of Rail and Road. UK/51/2019/0003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 August 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  16. ^ "Bombardier Class 710/1s finally make their passenger debut on West Anglia suburban routes". Rail. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  17. ^ "New London Overground electric trains enter service". Transport for London (Press release). Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  18. ^ Brown, Faye (12 October 2021). "Two injured as train crashes through barriers at north London station". Metro.
  19. ^ "Two checked by paramedics after London Overground train hits buffer stops at Enfield Town". RailAdvent. 12 October 2021.
  20. ^ "Enfield train crash: Driver arrested after drugs test". BBC News Online. 28 October 2021. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  21. ^ Petherick, Sam (28 October 2021). "Train driver who crashed into London station barriers 'was on cocaine'". Metro. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  22. ^ "5 car 710s Renumbered". Today's Railways. No. 231. 21 April 2021. p. 70.

External links[edit]