Upgraded Train Carriages Come Into Service

1 May 2015, 07:25 | Updated: 1 May 2015, 07:26

The first fully upgraded train carriages will go into services on the Great Eastern Mainline today.

It's part of Abellio Greater Anglia's £12m refurbishment programme for trains travelling between Norwich and London. 

Jamie Burles, Abellio Greater Anglia's Managing Director said: "The introduction of the first fully refurbished set of intercity carriages is a significant milestone in our commitment to raise service standards on the Norwich to London mainline route.

"We are determined to provide customers and communities across our network with higher quality services and this project is a major part of a wider investment of over £31.5m in customer-focused improvements between now and the end of our franchise in October 2016."

Passengers on the 11.00 Norwich to London Liverpool Street service will see the first complete set of fully refurbished carriages (from the 118-strong fleet of carriages which is being upgraded) undertake its first journey on the Great Eastern Main Line.

It's hoped the work will not just benefit rail customers, but the wider regional economy and it is intended that this project should be the start of a decade-long programme of improvements on this important rail artery.

The improvements are throughout both First Class and Standard carriages and include plug points; new LED lighting; new carpets; new tables; new seat covers; upgraded environmentally-friendly controlled emission toilets with new floors and new taps; and the re-painting of both carriage interior saloons and the vestibule panels, walls and ceilings.

Exterior painting of all carriages is also being undertaken as part of a separate programme already underway.

The work is being carried out at Abellio Greater Anglia's Crown Point Depot in Norwich by the company's partner for the project Vossloh Kiepe, with the full programme due for completion by the end of the train operator's current short franchise in October 2016.

A number of carriages will also be modified to enable more Standard seats to be provided - over 2,500 a day or over 600,000 a year.