£3.8 million train refurbishment project nears completion in Clacton
Greater Anglia engineers have been working round the clock to complete a £3.8 million refurbishment of more than 50 commuter trains.
Train passengers in Suffolk and Essex should benefit from more comfortable journeys as a result of the work, which is nearly complete.
The 54 Class 321 trains, which run between Liverpool Street and Southend, Chelmsford, Colchester and Ipswich, are being transformed with new carpets and vinyl flooring, panels and seat covers. Grab poles have also been refreshed using powder coating, a substance which is more durable than paint.
An extra four seats per four-carriage train have been also been created by decommissioning an extended first class seating area.
The work has been carried out by a team of 20, working 12-hour shifts round-the-clock at the train operator’s Clacton-on-Sea depot. A four carriage train takes 60 hours (two and a half days) to complete.
The work has cost £3.8million and is due to be completed in September. Greater Anglia recruited local workers from the Clacton area to complete the project.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, said: “Customers should definitely notice the difference when they travel on one of these refurbished trains. Our engineers have worked hard to make these trains brighter, cleaner and more comfortable, contributing to a much more pleasant journey.
“I’m also pleased that we have supported the local economy by employing 20 local people, mostly from the Clacton area for this project.
“We are replacing all of our trains with brand new trains, complete with air conditioning, plug and USB points and fast free wifi from 2019, but in the meantime we are investing more than £5 million in our current trains to help improve customers’ journeys.”