Work complete on £3 million upgrade to Abellio Greater Anglia’s local train fleet
Abellio Greater Anglia has completed a £3 million upgrade to its fleet of local trains in Norfolk and Suffolk.
The train operator’s nine two-carriage Class 156 vehicles have received a complete interior overhaul, including new carpets, dado panels, seat covers and a deep clean as well as the installation of a new passenger information system which delivers automatic announcements. The vehicles have also been fitted with a universal access toilet.
Each unit has also received a brand new coat of paint in the company’s red and white livery.
The final unit to be completed, 156416, returned to passenger service on 13 June 2014.
The work was carried out by Railcare at their facility in Wolverton near Milton Keynes under contract to Porterbrook Leasing.
As part of the overhaul, additional work was carried out to make the Class 156 fleet compliant with future changes to the regulations for passengers of reduced mobility.
This additional work included improved access through the train, a revised seating layout to provide priority seats; two wheelchair spaces with “call for aid” buttons; a new universal toilet ensuring adequate wheelchair access also fitted with a “call for aid” button, a passenger information system (PIS), the replacement of handrails and new external door sounders which provide an audible warning prior to the doors closing.
The accessible toilet module is manufactured by Phenolic Ltd and provides full access to wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility when travelling on this type of train.
The Class 156 units are in operation on several routes across the Greater Anglia network including the Marks Tey -Sudbury, Ipswich - Cambridge, Ipswich - Lowestoft, Norwich - Great Yarmouth and Norwich – Sheringham lines.