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Work underway on Belfast-Dublin service refurb

The main rolling stock overhaul work on the multi-million pound ‘Enterprise’ refurbishment programme to improve rail travel for passengers between Belfast and Dublin has begun.

Due for completion in autumn 2015, the EU-funded refurbishment project will upgrade the De Dietrich stock with a modern and attractive interior as well as boast a new exterior livery; new electronic passenger reservation and information systems; and a mechanical systems overhaul.

The 28 coaches have interiors currently modelled on the Class 373 Eurostar.

Transport minister Danny Kennedy said: “This is a significant investment [£12.2m] and an important step forward in the development of this flagship train service which was first launched in 1997.

“The major overhaul programme is crucial to ensure the long-term reliability of this cross-border rail service which offers a vital transport link supporting trade and tourism

This scheme is a joint project, with Irish Rail and Translink NI Railways leading the overall programme.

Mal McGreevy, Translink general manager of rail services, said: “We plan to carry out work on the train carriages on a ‘rolling’ programme basis which will require the substitution of an Enterprise train with an Irish Rail ‘Rotem’ train until project completion. Our colleagues in Irish Rail will also be carrying out major engineering works on the Enterprise Locomotives as part of this project.

“Any temporary disruption to normal services will be minimised as much as possible and will ultimately result in a much more attractive cross-border rail journey experience. We would ask for our customers’ patience and support as we work hard to deliver more attractive rail services and ultimately make life better for our customers.”

A revised Enterprise timetable will be in place from Sunday 16 November. In order to minimise the impact of this project on cross-border services, timetable frequency and journey times have been maintained.

The £12.2m work has been financed through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) with support from the Department for Regional Development.

The full changes are below:

Key changes: Interiors

Existing seats retained but overhauled, re-engineered with grab handles, new cushions / fabric  in modern design and trim
New tables with attractive finishes
New lighting and electrical sockets
New carpets throughout to new designs
Window trims repainted
New window blinds fitted
New pelmet design to incorporate new electronic seat reservation displays and new lighting units.
New efficient eco lighting installed
All interior trims replaced with new design
Handrail refurbished/replaced to new colours.
Vestibules/door interiors repainted
Toilets revamped; Painted in new colours; sink units replaced
Catering car revamped in new colours/new finishes. Redesigned to better service passenger demands.
Signage upgrades to meet new standards 

Key changes: Exteriors

Attractive new livery
Enhanced signage to meet latest EU standards 

Key changes: New Systems

New audio and visual passenger information system.
New passenger alarm system
New Public address system
New Train Management System 
Upgraded saloon and forward facing CCTV
New electronic Seat Reservation System

(Image: Dublin Connolly station c. William Murphy)

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