Rolling stock

19.12.16

Greater Anglia launches new-look Class 321s

Greater Anglia’s new-look Class 321 Renatus train has been launched at London Liverpool Street station in a passenger-focused upgrade of the TOC’s original rolling stock.

The Class 321 Renatus is the result of several years’ work between Greater Anglia, the rolling stock operating company Eversholt Rail and the equipment supplier Wabtec Faiveley who partnered up to rework the train.

The second Class 321 unit entered passenger service on 16 December following positive passenger feedback to the first unit back in late October. Greater Anglia hopes to benefit from 30 of refurbished trains in total, which include total interior refurbishment, power sockets for each seating row and passenger wi-fi.

IMG 1332

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “This major upgrade will transform the customer environment on these trains, which are used by 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.”

The refurbishment programme, being carried out at Wabtec Faiveley’s production facility in Doncaster, also includes improved insulation and heating and larger vestibule areas to improve passenger flows through trains.

The remaining 28 Class 321 Renatus units will be returned to passenger service over the next 18 months.

Andy Course, chief operating officer at Eversholt Rail, said: “We are delighted with the high quality Renatus train our partners have produced with this investment.

“We really believe it is transformational and that it will delight both Greater Anglia passengers now and passengers in other areas of the country for years to come.”

Burles added that the Renatus upgrade will provide a “step change in the quality of the on-train experience, while we plan for the arrival of brand new trains across the network from 2019”.

The first Class 321 Renatus unit is currently being fitted with a new traction system by the German manufacturer Vossloh Kiepe UK Ltd and will return to passenger service early in 2017.

It is believed that the new system will improve journey times by giving the train better acceleration, also reducing its operating costs through consuming less energy.

Tim Jenkins, managing director of Vossloh Kiepe UK Limited, said: “Vossloh Kiepe is delighted to have been chosen to supply and install its modern AC traction equipment onto these Class 321 units.

“We now look forward to working closely with Eversholt Rail and Wabtec Faiveley UK to ensure that the upgraded Renatus units become the best performing and passenger enhanced EMUs [electric multiple units] in the UK.”        

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Comments

Mr Simon Maguire   19/12/2016 at 15:52

You can't polish a turd...

Andrew Gwilt   19/12/2016 at 16:26

The new-look refurbished and revamped Class 321's will feature-free wifi access (for laptops, androids, iphones/ios ect), plug sockets (for charging laptops, tablets, ipads, iphones, androids ect), air-Conditioning, new double glazed windows without the open hopper windows (as the 321's are fully air-conditioned), new heating, new seat covers and comfortable seats and layouts, new floors and interiors including lights, refurbished standard toilet, newly built disabled toilet, flip up seats, standing holders, improved and refurbished standard class, revamped 1st class, new brakes and new traction motors. Plus there is the need for 110mph operation if necessary as the Class 321's are limited to 90mph on the GEML and 70mph on other branch lines. A lot of work has gone into revamping and refurbishing the Class 321's that Greater Anglia are spending. But sadly they are going to be replaced by the new Bombardier Aventra EMU and Stadler Flirt EMU/EDMU (Bi-Mode) fleets from 2019 and I do think that the refurbished Class 321's could be used up in Scotland or in Northern England or sadly being entirely scrapped.

Andrew G   19/12/2016 at 16:33

I cannot wait to see the newly refurbished Class 321's that will soon be in service operating in/out of London Liverpool Street. The "reborn" of the Class 321's has just begun.

David   19/12/2016 at 18:05

Andrew, once again, Northern and Scotrail are purchasing brand-new rolling stock. No point speculating. And the Class 321s are not capable of 110mph operation.

Andrew Gwilt   19/12/2016 at 20:18

Fair point @David.

Jerry Alderson   20/12/2016 at 18:40

Re: future of 321s. There is, of course, potential for the 321s to be used to cater for growth in passenger numbers that are not currently foreseen (and therefore not in current plans) and, crucially, can be used on the network with the infrastructure available. Note: the refurb has not included the addition of external cameras for the driver. Not needed for GA, of course, but possibly for a future cascade. Probably no business case for doing it, so I wouldn't read anything into this. (In fact, probably not even worth me pointing it out!) With electrification projects going down the priority list, especially with the current fad for bi-modes, I think there is going to be a surplus of emus, unless we see them being loco hauled. It is worth considering that TOCs do change their mind. Great Northern was to have received cascaded 377s - instead it is getting cascaded 387s.

Andrew Gwilt   24/12/2016 at 22:37

The Class 379's that are to be replaced by the new "Aventra" trains for the West Anglia & Stansted Express services could also be cascaded to Great Northern to work alongside the Class 387's as Great Northern are receiving the Class 387's that are cascaded from Thameslink because of the Class 700's that are taking over the Thameslink network.

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