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Virgin reaches halfway point on east coast fleet refurbishment

Virgin Trains East Coast’s fleet refurbishment programme will reach the halfway point this weekend when the twenty-third train to be completely revamped rolls out of Craigentinny, Edinburgh.

Last November, the operator announced that it would be investing £21m to fully refresh its 45-train fleet with new seat covers, on-board signage, carpets, curtains, tables, and renovated toilets including new lighting and hand dryers, on both its InterCity 125 and 225 sets.

The first of the renovated trains entered service in December. The work has been carried out at the company’s Bounds Green depot in London and its Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh – where it will also refurbish all 35 of its diesel engines for the High Speed Train (HST) fleet over the next two years as part of a £16m contract with engine manufacturer MTU.

David Horne, Virgin Trains’ managing director on the east coast, said: “Since Virgin Trains launched services on the East Coast in 2015 we have committed more than £40m to improving our existing fleet for customers.

“We’re excited to be at the halfway point of our dedicated refurbishment programme, and pass another milestone on our journey towards totally transforming travel for our customers on the east coast.”


The new-look trains include luxurious leather seats and mood lighting in First Class and red cloth seats in Standard, providing a new lease of life to the trains and extra comfort for customers.

The refurbishment programme is part of a £40m pledge Virgin Trains made when it started operating on the east coast.

Earlier this year, Virgin unveiled a new fleet of their fastest ever trains to increase capacity on their East Coast route. The 65 Virgin Azuma trains, which will be introduced from 2018, are capable of reaching 125mph in around four-and-a-half minutes, compared to around five minutes ten seconds for Virgin’s current electric trains and seven minutes for its diesel ones.

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Andrew Gwilt   02/08/2016 at 02:09

Mind you these VTEC rolling stocks will not last long as Class 800 and Class 801 Hitachi Bi-Mode IEP trains will be replacing the Class 43 HST+MK2 and Class 91+MK3+DVT rolling stocks as the Class 800 and Class 801 Bi-Mode IEP trains will be in service from late next year.

L Knight   02/08/2016 at 05:21

I believe virgin east coast are to retain 7 or 8 intercity 225 to operate hourly fast service from edinburgh to kx resulting in 6.5 train paths per hour if allowed. The sevice would only stop at newcastle.

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