Ten Abellio Greater Anglia Class 321s to be fully refurbished

Thursday, 13 August 2015

 

Major upgrade through partnership with Eversholt Rail

 

Ten Abellio Greater Anglia Class 321 trains are to be fully refurbished in a major upgrade programme delivered in partnership with Eversholt Rail.

 

The electric trains, which operate on services to Southend, Chelmsford, Witham, Braintree, Colchester, Clacton, Harwich and Ipswich, will benefit from a positive transformation of the on-train customer environment, including:

New, more comfortable seating throughout
Air-conditioning fitted throughout

New heating systems
Larger vestibules for improved boarding and alighting
Wi-fi facilities enabled throughout
Power sockets installed throughout
New, energy efficient lighting
Improved space allocation for buggies, bicycles and luggage
New flooring, ceiling panels and windows

Upgraded equipment monitoring systems to improve train reliability

The full refurbishment for ten trains fulfils a commitment made at the start of the current short franchise to try and agree a full refurbishment deal for a small number of Class 321s. It follows on from the recent announcement of a more minor refresh for 40 Class 321s (with new seat covers and better lighting) and, with the 17 Class 321s which benefitted from a refresh after they arrived in East Anglia from London Midland four years ago, it means 67 of the 94 Class 321s will have received recent customer-focused improvements.

 

The first refurbished train is due to be completed around the end of this year, with work carried out by Wabtec Rail at a dedicated production facility in Doncaster, with state of the art systems and processes.

Abellio Greater Anglia’s Managing Director Jamie Burles said: "I am delighted we have been able to agree this major upgrade for ten of our Class 321 trains, transforming the customer environment on these carriages which are used by many thousands of our passengers every day. With air conditioning, new seats, new lighting, new toilets, Wi-Fi and power sockets, customers will see a real step change in the quality of the on-train experience, to offer a better, more comfortable journey.

“We are pleased to have worked in partnership with Eversholt Rail and Wabtec Rail to agree this significant train upgrade programme, which along with the major refresh already underway for the intercity trains, plus other refresh projects for the Class 360 trains and some of the other Class 321s, means that passengers on the Great Eastern Main Line are seeing some substantial improvements to trains on this key route connecting London and East Anglia. We will continue to improve service quality for the remainder of our franchise, building on the £35.5 million programme of investment already announced."

Andy Course, Chief Operating Officer Eversholt Rail, said: “Our £60m investment in the Class 321 Renatus upgrade will provide a transformation for the East Anglian passengers and demonstrates our long term and continued commitment to enhancing our assets.”