Abellio to refresh Class 321 trains in £4m upgrade
Abellio Greater Anglia will refurbish 40 of its Class 321 trains as part of a £4m investment in additional service improvements across its network.
The electric trains will be ‘refreshed’ to include new seat covers, better lighting and an ‘enhanced deep cleaning programme’.
Trains used on services to Southend, Chelmsford, Witham, Braintree, Colchester, Clacton, Harwich and Ipswich will all be targeted in the upgrade.
These will also undergo a programme of ‘specific reliability modifications’.
The franchise will extend this programme to the Class 317 fleet used on West Anglia services to Hertford East, Harlow, Bishops Stortford and Cambridge.
Refresh work will be carried out in-house at its Southend Victoria depot.
Apart from a more frequent ‘heavy clean’ programme for all trains, the upgrade will also include a series of station renovations.
Amongst these are new platform seating at several mainline stations, better waiting rooms, new customer information screens at 35 stations, and improved accessibility arrangements.
Abellio’s managing director, Jamie Burles, said: “Despite a short franchise we have continued to invest above and beyond the commitments we agreed with the Department for Transport, constantly seeking to provide a better service for our customers. We will keep on investing and working to raise service standards throughout the remainder of our current franchise as well as making the case to ministers and the DfT for investment in major upgrades next summer.”
The enhancements will be implemented over the next four months as part of an overarching investment of £35.5m during its short franchise until October 2016.