More seats for passengers on Abellio Greater Anglia's Intercity trains
Programme to provide additional 600,000 seats a year underway as first upgraded carriages enter service
A programme to provide over 600,000 more standard seats a year (or 2500 more seats a day) on Abellio Greater Anglia's intercity trains between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London has begun, with the entry into service of two upgraded carriages, each with 54 extra standard seats.
The initiative, which is part of the wider £12 million refresh for the intercity carriages, sees seven catering carriages fitted with 54 standard seats instead of 24 First Class seats, to markedly increase the number of standard seats on intercity trains on the Great Eastern Main Line.
Combined with minor modifications to a number of other standard carriages, it will mean an increase in seating capacity of more than 13pc on many of the intercity services, when the programme is completed in the autumn. The modification of the carriages should also enable more consistent delivery of the planned seating capacity and set formations on the route, by simplifying the types of carriage in the fleet and helping to improve fleet reliability.
Coupled with the wider refresh of the intercity carriage fleet, it should lead to a significant improvement in the overall service experience for intercity passengers on the Norwich - Ipswich - Colchester - London line.
The significant refresh sees all of the train operator's Mk III fleet being enhanced, with improvements for both First Class and Standard carriages including 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. Exterior painting of all carriages is also being undertaken as part of a separate programme, which is already underway and due for completion in October.
Abellio Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, said: “The introduction of the first upgraded carriages with an additional 54 standard seats is another important milestone in the major upgrade programme for our intercity services. Combined with the major refresh for the entire intercity fleet, it is a real step forward for customers on this crucial rail artery. We are committed to consistently raising service standards for the remainder of our current short franchise to October 2016, as well as continuing to help build the case for further investment in East Anglia's rail network."