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Trains on the mainline to London are going to be re-fitted with powerpoints, new seat covers and new carpets.
The announcement reveals that current rolling stock will be upgraded, involving: power points; new carpets; new seat covers; new lighting; CET (Controlled Emission Toilets); and the interior of trains re-painted (including toilets).
The upgrade is one of the targets of the 'Norwich in 90' taskforce that is trying to improve the standard of service on the mainline to London.
The taskforce still maintains that 'bigger problems remain' as they look to reduce the journey times to the capital from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said:
“This shows that we are delivering on a better rail service for our constituents. Alongside long-term improvements coming from the Norwich in Ninety taskforce, this announcement gives us some of the important things that passengers need, straight away. In the short-term and the long-term we are working hard for a better, faster and more reliable rail service for our constituents. Better infrastructure will bring more jobs to Norwich over time.”
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said:
“This is another important step along our journey to a better rail service. This will improve the travelling experience in the short term for commuters and travellers going between Ipswich and London until the new rolling stock - that my colleagues and I are working on procuring at the moment- is ready to go. It is understandable that people are frustrated with how long they have had to wait for these improvements but I want to re-iterate that we are reversing sixty years of under-investment. We are delivering on every promise - whether it is the Ipswich Chord or the refurbishment of existing rolling stock- to the travelling public.
We now need to get on and deliver ‘Norwich in 90’ and ‘Ipswich in 60’. We also need to deliver a better, faster and more reliable service to Ipswich with new rolling stock. It is only if my colleagues and I are returned to Parliament in 2015 that we will be sure to achieve this.”
Chairman of New Anglia LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) Mark Pendlington said:
“This very welcome new investment in the quality of our rail service is the best possible news for passengers, and provides a real boost for all those who see a top performing transport system as fundamental to business success. This is a turning point after years of under investment in rail in the East, and encourages us all in our campaign to achieve even greater improvements in the vital rail services that serve all parts of this area."
Work on upgrade of Mark III trains will start immediately with other improvements to services beginning later in the year.