First refurbished long distance train for SWR enters passenger service
Passenger experience on South Western Railway will be greatly improved as a result of the £50 million Desiro interior upgrade programme.
Neil Drury and Andy Mellors (SWR) with Andy Healy and Richard Carrington (Siemens)
South Western Railway’s first fully refurbished and reconfigured Class 444 train has entered passenger service, offering additional seating capacity and improvements to passenger accommodation.
The refurbishment and reconfiguration of the train is part of SWR’s £50 million Desiro interior upgrade programme. The project is being delivered by the trains’ manufacturer, Siemens Mobility Limited and is designed to increase seating capacity in standard class. The interior accommodation has been updated with features including enhanced Wi-Fi, inductive charging tables, at-seat power and a full refurbishment of passenger accommodation using quality materials.
Neil Drury, SWR’s Engineering Director, said: “Our customers have been enjoying the benefits of refurbished accommodation on our Class 450 trains since December 2018 and this train marks the start of phase two of the programme.
“When the refurbishment programme is completed, all 172 of our Desiro class trains will have new, high-quality interiors and will provide almost 5,000 additional seats in standard class.”
The refurbishment of the Desiro fleet is part of a £110 million programme to refurbish five fleets by the end of 2020, which equates to over 900 carriages. Currently, the first of SWR’s newly acquired fleet of 18 Class 442 trains is being refurbished before entering passenger service in December 2018 on the Portsmouth to Waterloo route.
Richard Carrington, Project Director, Siemens Mobility, said: “Siemens Mobility is proud to refurbish the 172-strong Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro fleet for South Western Railway. The passengers will benefit from full interior refurbishment of all trains. Additional benefits for First Class customers include new leather seats and new tables incorporating innovative inductive charging.”