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13.01.20

South Western Railway £70m ‘Desiro’ fleet completed

South Western Railway (SWR) has completed the £70m refurbishment of Desiro trains as final train enters passenger service.

The rail operators’ £70m upgrade programme started in December 2017 and has seen the modernisation of all 172 Class 444 and 450 trains.

The restoration of the fleet supports ongoing measures to improve onboard experience for customers travelling long-distance between London Waterloo, Weymouth, Poole and Portsmouth stations.

The final train, a Class 450, joined the existing Desiro fleet last week (Jan 9) offering better interiors, cutting edge features, better Wi-Fi, charging tables and power socks, refreshed toilets and ergonomically designed seats for a more comfortable journey.

The refurbishment, completed by the train’s original manufacturer, Siemens, brings 1,305 additional seats to SWR’s standard class as well as trains fit for the future.

Angel Trains, one of Britain’s leading train leasing companies, has financed the investment as part of SWR’s wider £1.3bn plan to improve capacity, frequency and connectivity.

Customers of SWR’s suburban Windsor and Reading routes can look forward to the introduction of the new Class 701 trains later this year, whilst some Class 442 trains have already been reintroduced as part of the new January timetable.

Neil Drury, SWR’s engineering director, said: 


"This massive refurbishment programme is a huge investment by SWR which offers customers, using our long-distance services, a quality on-board experience.

"I’m proud to see the final refurbished Class 450 train in the programme enter service, and by the end of this year, more trains will roll-out to help us fulfil our promise of offering 52,000 extra seats over the course of the franchise."

Sambit Banerjee, managing director of Siemens Mobility’s Rolling Stock business in the UK, said:


"The full refurbishment of the 172-strong Class 444 and Class 450 ‘Desiro’ fleet is a highly complex and demanding project, which was achieved through very close collaboration with SWR. 

"We are extremely proud to achieve this very significant milestone in this project and to be contributing to an enhanced experience for SWR’s passengers."

Photo: South Western Railway 

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