I was taken aback by an announcement from Virgin Trains last week. The company was about to pass the halfway point in its train refurbishment programme. The press release added that the 23rd train was about to roll out of the maintenance depot at Craigentinny in the Edinburgh suburbs.
The reason I was taken aback with the fact that the refurbishment of the HSTs and Mk4s had reached the halfway point was because in all my journeys on the East Coast I am yet to travel on a refurbished train.
The new-look trains include luxurious leather seats and mood lighting in First Class and stunning red cloth seats in Standard, providing a new lease of life to the trains and extra comfort for customers.
Virgin Trains reminds me that the refurbishment programme, which also includes new carpets and fittings, is part of a £40 million-pledge Virgin Trains made when it started operating on the east coast.
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.”
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.