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.
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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