British Rail Class 710

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British Rail Class 710 Aventra
710261 resting at West Hampstead Station.jpg
A Class 710 at West Hampstead in 2019
Class 710 DM interior.jpg
The interior of a Class 710
In service23 May 2019 – present
ManufacturerBombardier Transportation
Built atDerby Litchurch Lane Works
Family nameAventra
Number built54 units
Formation4 or 5 carriages per unit
Capacity4 car - 189 Seats, 489 Standing
5 car - 241 Seats, 641 Standing[1]
Operator(s)London Overground
Depot(s)Willesden TMD
Ilford EMU Depot
Line(s) served
Train length5 car - 102.85 m (337 ft 5 14 in)
4 car - 82.86 m (271 ft 10 14 in)
Car length19.99 m (65 ft 7 in)
21.446 m (70 ft 4 in) (End cars)
Width2.772 m (9 ft 1 in)
Height3.76 m (12 ft 4 in)
Maximum speed75 mph (121 km/h)
Weight4 car AC Unit - 144 t (142 long tons; 159 short tons)
4 car DV Unit - 151 t (149 long tons; 166 short tons)
5 car DV Unit - 182 t (179 long tons; 201 short tons)
Electric system(s)
Current collection methodPantograph (AC)
Contact shoe (DC)
BogiesBombardier FLEXX Eco
Braking system(s)Knorr-Bremse RZKK and RZTS with 2 actuators per axle
Safety system(s)AWS / TPWS
Coupling systemDellner
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 710 is a type of electric multiple unit passenger train currently being 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]

710263 sitting at Willesden Junction for a test run in April 2019

In 2012, TfL 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 that the Gospel Oak to Barking line ('GOBLIN') would be electrified, 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 Enfield Town, Cheshunt and Chingford to Liverpool Street routes, eight for the Gospel Oak to Barking, and one for the Romford to Upminster - all to replace older Class 172, Class 315 and Class 317 trains.[4] 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 route will be cascaded back to the North London 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.[5]

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 option to extend some or all units including option units to five cars). These are similar to the Class 345s that will be used by Crossrail, for use on the West Anglia Routes and the Watford DC Line, GOBLIN and Romford to Upminster lines, from 2018, to be known as Class 710.[6] The units will be delivered in two sub-classes; an AC-only version for use on the West Anglia and Romford–Upminster services, and a dual-voltage version for the Watford DC and GOBLIN 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 will be maintained at Ilford TMD and the dual-voltage units at Willesden TMD.[7]

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 DC lines and two for the extended GOBLIN 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.[8]


710269 stands at Barking in the first week of service on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line in May 2019

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.[9]

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".[10]

In November 2018, TfL said that they hoped the units would be in service by December 2018,[11] however, further delays prevented this.[12]

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,[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] The services on the Romford-Upminster line will start in 2020.[16]

Fleet details[edit]

A total of 54 units totalling 222 carriages are to be built. This will consist of 48 4-carriage units and six 5-carriage units.[17][18]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit Nos. Description
710/1 London Overground 31 2017-20 4 710101 - 710131 AC only for Romford–Upminster line and Lea Valley lines.
710/2 18 710256 - 710273 Dual-voltage for Gospel Oak to Barking line and Watford DC lines.
6 5 710274 - 710279 Dual-voltage for North London line and West London line.
London Overground Class 710

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Class 710 Stock - London Overground (PDF) (Report). 2019. LO-01-02-03-48-04_01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  2. ^ Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "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 (697). Peterborough. 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ "More EMUs for London Overground". Railway Gazette. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Bombardier wins London Overground EMU contract". Railway Gazette. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ "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)...
  7. ^ Rail Magazine, Issue 778, Page 14
  8. ^ "Nine more 710s for LO". Today's Railways (192): 11. December 2017.
  9. ^ 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. But the new four-car Bombardier trains [...] are running three months behind schedule due to delays in carrying out the required testing. Network Rail and TfL are effectively blaming each other for the delay. Jonathan Fox, TfL’s rail director, said the trains would arrive by “summer” (2018).
  10. ^ Morton, Sophie (20 June 2018). "Finally! High-tech electric Overground trains to be introduced this year". Barking & Dagenham Post. Retrieved 27 October 2018. Featuring WiFi, USB charging points and air conditioning, the new four-carriage fleet will be introduced to the Barking to Gospel Oak like by November - almost 18 months later than planned. Jonathan Fox, TfL’s director of rail and sponsored services, said: [...] “Over the summer, the new trains will undergo final rigorous testing and drivers will complete extensive training. We are now planning for the first trains to enter passenger service on the Gospel Oak to Barking route by November (2018).”
  11. ^
  12. ^ Anonymous (10 December 2018). "Gospel Oak to Barking Line". Mayor's Question Time. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Modified electric trains to be used temporarily on London Overground's Gospel Oak to Barking line". TfL. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Interoperability authorisation of Bombardier Class 710/2 electric multiple units - Authorised 11 April 2019" (PDF). Office of Rail and Road. 11 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Bombardier Class 710/1s finally make their passenger debut on West Anglia suburban routes". Rail. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  16. ^ Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "New London Overground electric trains enter service". Transport for London. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  17. ^ Bickerdyke, Paul, ed. (August 2018). "First look at LO class 710". Rail Express. No. 267. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 14. ISSN 1362-234X.
  18. ^ Pritchard, Robert, ed. (March 2019). "Rolling Stock Special: New Trains on Order". Today's Railways. No. 207. Platform 5. p. 39. ISSN 1475-9713.

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