Abellio Greater Anglia invests a further £3.5 million in service improvements
Train operator has more than doubled its planned investment over its short franchise
Abellio Greater Anglia is to invest a further £3.5 million in service improvements across its network.
The additional funding means that the company will have invested more than £40 million in service upgrades over the course of its current short franchise from July 2014 to October 2016 - more than double the planned £20 million announced at the start of the franchise. The extra spend will deliver the following key improvements:
An interior refresh for a further ten of the company's Class 317 fleet (10 x 317/5 trains) used on West Anglia services between London and Broxbourne, Hertford East, Harlow, Bishops Stortford and Cambridge. All 40 carriages will receive new standard seat covers and vinyl flooring, new First Class seat covers, trim and carpets, interiors re-sprayed and new signage applied. This project follows on from a similar upgrade programme for the company's 24 Class 317/6 trains, which has just been completed three weeks ahead of schedule. The work to improve the ten Class 317/5 trains will be undertaken by Abellio Greater Anglia’s fleet maintenance team at the company’s Clacton-on-Sea Depot and will mean 34 of the company's 45 Class 317 trains will have been refreshed when the programme is completed
Further investment in fleet reliability projects
More resources to further raise train presentation and cleaning standards
Additional investment in station presentation and painting schemes Renewal of station clocks at 7 stations (Billericay, Colchester Town, Hatfield Peveral, Kelvedon, Shenfield, Stowmarket and Wickford)
Further investment in on-train announcement systems
These further upgrades are in addition to more than £36.5 million worth of investment committed in improvements including:
The major refresh programme for the all the intercity carriages used on the Norwich - Ipswich - Colchester - London line with plug points; new LED lighting; new carpets; new tables; new seat covers; upgraded environmentally-friendly controlled emission toilets with new floors and new taps; and the re-painting of both carriage interior saloons and the vestibule panels, walls and ceilings. (more than a third of the carriages are now complete).
Refresh of 67 Class 321 units used on services to Southend, Chelmsford, Witham, Braintree, Colchester, Clacton, Harwich and Ipswich
New seat covers and a heavy clean for the 21 Class 360 units used on services to Chelmsford, Witham, Colchester, Clacton and Ipswich
Station upgrades at 54 stations
Reliability modifications across the company's train fleets
A significant increase in train and station cleaning staff, plus other resources and equipment to enable improved cleaning standards
Hire of an additional set of intercity MkIII carriages to improve vehicle availability and seating capacity during the intercity carriage upgrade programme
Additional customer service and catering staff
Improvements to customer information and extension of the Twitter service to a 24 hour facility
Jamie Burles, Managing Director of Abellio Greater Anglia said: "This additional £3.5 million investment in raising service standards demonstrates our ongoing commitment to deliver a better service for our customers. We have now more than doubled the investment we announced at the start of our short franchise in 2014, with over £40 million now being spent on refreshing and refurbishing trains, upgrading stations, improving train cleanliness and providing better information to passengers.
“Despite two short franchises we have been fully focused on delivering short term improvements as well as helping to secure the long term investment that our region's rail network deserves. We know there is more to do to achieve the quality and consistency of service our customers rightly expect and we will keep on doing all we can to improve train services across our network through to the end of our current franchise."