Trial refurbishment unveiled for train used on West Anglia routes

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Abellio Greater Anglia and Angel Trains today unveiled a pilot refurbished Class 317 train, which will be used to gain customer feedback and help prioritise improvements to trains on the West Anglia routes between Ely, Cambridge, Bishops Stortford, Harlow, Hertford East, Enfield, Chingford and London.

The project has been deliberately designed to illustrate some of the upgrades that could be made to the trains which currently operate many West Anglia services. Passenger feedback will be proactively sought once the train enters service in the first quarter of next year. Travellers using the re-engineered Class 317 train will have the opportunity to benefit from a number of new features, including:

• Refurbished interior with new seating and additional grab poles
• More space on-board with larger vestibule areas
• CCTV cameras throughout the train to ensure a safe environment
• Climate controlled environment
• Plug sockets and Wi-Fi throughout the train
• Passenger information systems to provide journey details

The train unveiled at Ilford is currently going through its final testing after which it will enter passenger service, giving customers a great opportunity to comment on the enhanced environment, thereby informing the specification for refurbished trains on the West Anglia routes in the future. It has received a number of technical upgrades (including new traction motors and regenerative braking), which are intended to deliver better performance at a lower cost, compared to the existing fleet.  Key benefits should include:

I. Better Performance – improved acceleration which should support better punctuality and offer the potential for quicker journey times
II. Reduced maintenance – the new traction motors should be more reliable and the time between maintenance overhauls can be significantly increased
III. Greater Reliability - the replacement traction motor system will provide performance more akin to a new train
IV. Reduced environmental impact - under optimal conditions Class 317 will use up to 40% less power
V. Lower Cost - significant reductions in maintenance and operating costs

The engineering overhaul was carried out by Bombardier Transportation with a large proportion of the work undertaken at the company’s Ilford depot.

Commenting on the refurbished Class 317 train Kate Marjoribanks Engineering Director for Abellio Greater Anglia said:

The refurbished class 317 train should offer a step change in both reliability and customer environment. The Class 317s are the mainstay of our West Anglia services to Chingford, Enfield, Hertford East, Harlow, Bishops Stortford and Cambridge, operating over 300 of our services every weekday.  The opportunity to trial a refurbished unit which should offer better performance, as well as a much enhanced customer environment is something we are very excited about.  We passionately believe that our trains should provide passengers with a high quality product and now is a very good time to be testing passenger priorities and preferences for the future.  Securing customer feedback on this pilot unit is a key objective for us.  Despite currently only holding a short franchise to July 2014, we are thinking about the long term best interests of customers and stakeholders along the West Anglia routes, with a project which will actively help identify, shape, prioritise and deliver future rolling stock enhancements on those lines.  We very much hope that passengers will like the new seats, air conditioning, new information systems and wi-fi facilities and we look forward to receiving their feedback when the train enters service in 2014.