Image credits: Southeastern/Siemens

Southeastern’s City Beam train, which has been named in honour of the late MP James Brokenshire, was unveiled today.

The former MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, who died of lung cancer at the age of 53 in October 2021, was an avid campaigner for rail service improvements and new, modern trains that would benefit his constituents

Southeastern and Siemens – the train maker, unveiled the City Beam train today at a small ceremony with Mr Brokenshire’s family and colleagues including the Rail Minister, Wendy Morton MP.

Wendy Morton, the Rail Minister, said:

“It is a privilege to be a part of the unveiling of Southeastern’s new City Beam train, named in honour of the late James Brokenshire.

“James worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his constituents, and was a keen campaigner for improvements to local rail services. This new CityBeam train was one that James campaigned for on the Southeastern route. Today’s ceremony pays tribute to him and his years of committed hard work.”

Steve White, Managing Director for Southeastern, said:

“We’re proud to mark the positive contribution made by James Brokenshire over many years, representing thousands of people in the Bexley and Sidcup constituency.

“He was dedicated to working with us and was our biggest advocate in campaigning for new trains and improved train services on the Southeastern network.

“In 2019 James was one of the MPs on our network who made representations to the Secretary of State to secure new rolling stock and now customers will be reminded of the contribution James made when they see this modern train arriving at their station”.

“We have named our new CityBeam unit, 707005, in his honour – selecting this particular train to reflect the year he was first elected to represent the constituency of Hornchurch in 2005”.

Sambit Banerjee, Managing Director, Rolling Stock and Customer Services, Siemens Mobility, said:

“This new train on the Southeastern route is best in class, and an example of the improved rail experience that James Brokenshire wanted for the constituents he served so well. As a company manufacturing trains for clients across the UK, we deal with many customers and campaigners, and James stood out among them for his dedication and talent. He is much missed. We hope this train will trigger fond memories of him as it pulls into stations on the Southeastern route – and past his home in Bexley.”

The Class 707 trains were first introduced by Southeastern in Autumn 2021, running on the Hayes line and routes through Bexley and Sidcup. Now a train is rightly named in his honour.