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Eversholt awards contract to refurbish its Class 321 fleet

Eversholt Rail has awarded a £60m contract to Wabtec to refurbish its fleet of Class 321 EMUs.

The contract was signed on 28 May and covers engineering development for the refurbishment programme, as well as the overhaul of an initial batch of 30 four-car units which are due to return to service between spring 2016 and late 2017.

The work is to be undertaken at a dedicated production facility at Wabtec’s Doncaster site.

The leasing company has been working with Wabtec since July 2014 to develop a plan to bring a high quality refurbished passenger train fleet to market. This included the production of a demonstrator unit, featuring two styles of interior, which was used to gather operator and passenger feedback over 15 months in service.

The newly refurbished Class 321, which Eversholt is calling ‘Renatus’, is intended to deliver “exceptional customer service, maintainability and cost effectiveness and create the look and feel of a new train”.

Andy Course, chief operating officer of Eversholt Rail Group, said: “We started this phase of the project in July 2014 and it is incredible to see what has been achieved in such a short space of time. Our partnership with Wabtec will raise the bar on what can be achieved in a mid-life upgrade and will deliver a great and cost-effective transformation in passenger experience.”

Ray Betler, president of Wabtec Corporation, added: “We are pleased to be working with Eversholt Rail Group on this innovative project over the coming years. We have already invested in a new dedicated production facility in Doncaster with state of the art systems and processes and I am looking forward to delivering an exceptional product for passengers and operators.”

The EMUs to be refurbished are currently leased to Abellio Greater Anglia but are not committed for use beyond the end of the current franchise in October 2016.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Andrew Gwilt   05/06/2015 at 19:15

I think that all of the Class 321's that is used on Abellio Greater Anglia, Northern Rail and London Midland should be refurbished and revamp with new interiors, seats, lights, doors and most importantly it would be fully air-conditioned with new double glazed windows, the tractions to be replaced and to be more quieter whilst the train accelerates. But I think that the Class 321's would be replaced by new trains such as the Hitachi AT200 Commuter trains, Bombardier Electrostars (Class 377, Class 379, Class 387), Siemens Desiro (Class 350) and other new trains to be replacing the old rolling stocks that has been serving the UK for 50-60 years on British Railways. And with HS2 to be built in the 2020's is also a new generation of trains and transportation in the UK.

Chris M   05/06/2015 at 21:00

321s are good trains, just over half-way through their economic life - but to spend £500,000 per vehicle I would expect to see a complete re-engineering project, including fitting of air conditioning and new AC drives. The article does not make it clear if this level of upgrade is going to happen. It reads like a generic press release - can we have more detail please?

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