Our inbox alerted us to an email earlier today from Abellio Greater Anglia. The news is that the train operator has completed the interior refresh work on the first of 15 Class 317/5 four-carriage electric trains that operate on the Cambridge to Liverpool Street; Cheshunt/Hertford East to Liverpool Street and Bishop’s Stortford to Stratford services. The first train to be treated is 317512. The work is part of an additional package of £3.5m investment which was announced last December which includes fleet reliability work, and better cleaning and presentation standards for trains and stations.
The upgrade work for the 15 Class 317/5 trains will see 60 carriages in total improved with new seat covers and vinyl flooring, new First Class seat covers and trim and carpets renewed, interiors re-sprayed and new signage applied.
The work is being carried out by Abellio Greater Anglia’s fleet maintenance team at the company’s Clacton-on-Sea Depot with support from local suppliers in the Clacton area, helping to boost the regional economy.
The programme is due to be concluded by the end of the existing franchise.
With 24 Class 317/6 trains already upgraded, on completion of this programme, 39 of the company’s 45 Class 317 trains will have been refreshed to improved standards, representing 156 carriages in total.
Andrew Goodrum, Customer Service Director, Abellio Greater Anglia said: “I am pleased that we are continuing to invest in improvements to our train fleet over the next few months, as part of our commitment to provide better passenger comfort and a more pleasant on-train environment.
“We will continue to do all we can during the remainder of the existing franchise contract to further improve services.”
The train operator has now invested more than £40 million in service upgrades over the course of its current short franchise to October 2016 - more than double the planned £20 million announced at the start of the franchise.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.