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Class 317 refurbishment and retraction complete

A pre-series Class 317 unit has undergone a £7m overhaul to improve performance and reduce maintenance, Angel Trains has announced.

The work, with Bombardier Transportation and Abellio Greater Anglia, included a complete interior redesign to increase capacity and ensure Persons of Reduced Mobility (PRM) compliance, engineering work on the doors and major retraction work to move to an AC power unit.

This will allow the train to use regenerative braking and faster acceleration.

The interior refurbishment includes new seating and additional grab poles, larger vestibule areas, CCTV, a climate controlled environment, wi-fi throughout the vehicle and passenger information systems.

Malcolm Brown, CEO, Angel Trains, said: “As operators look to reduce operational costs, increase the capacity on their franchise and offer passengers a more comfortable experience the Class 317 re-engineering project will satisfy these demands. These units will provide a complementary option to the building of brand new trains.

“It’s also worth highlighting the importance of having high quality, lower cost options such as the re-engineered Class 317 for use on sections of the national rail network which are due to be newly electrified. The modernisation work which has taken place on these trains makes commercial sense but it also supports jobs and skills in the UK rail supply chain.”


Rail minister Stephen Hammond said: “We are currently embarked on one of the biggest programmes of rail modernisation ever, with more than £38bn being invested to electrify hundreds of miles of track, open new stations and improve the connectivity of hundreds of towns and cities across the network.

“These carriages represent a massive step change for passengers, allowing them to travel in modernised carriages that are faster, more environmentally friendly, and provide greater comfort.”

Francis Paonessa, president, rolling stock and services, Bombardier UK, said the project was a “complex engineering challenge”.

“We have also delivered a fresh, modern interior that demonstrates the potential of an older fleet to continue to meet the evolving needs of the customer.”

Kate Marjoribanks, engineering director, Abellio Greater Anglia, said: “Improvements on the interior of the unit including better security, hygiene and demand management are all important, but equally important are some of the engineering changes. The new power units will reduce our operational costs and the revised carriage layout should make train cleaning and maintenance easier.”

The unit is currently going through its final testing and will enter passenger service with Greater Anglia in early 2014.

RTM reported from the project this summer at Ilford depot.

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


Jim Goddard   29/11/2013 at 12:43

A most interesting article - can you tell me who provided the AC power unit to Bombardier please?

Notts Man   25/02/2014 at 21:31

Presumably this means re-traction, rather than retraction!

Rajan   06/07/2014 at 18:31

the 317/7 classes should be used on all abellio greater anglia services to cambridge, ely and kings lynn

Rajan   06/07/2014 at 22:12

the 317/7 classes should also be used on some hertford east (via tottenham hale/via seven sisters) and some bishop stortford services

Mal   09/10/2014 at 23:49

Early 2014? I think its late - like many GA services, and yet to be seen in Cambridge!

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