A key milestone in the refurbishment programme for Abellio Greater Anglia’s intercity MkIII carriages has been reached with the signing of a contract with Vossloh Kiepe UK to carry out the major upgrade. The significant refresh will see all of the train operator’s Mark III fleet enhanced, with the following improvements throughout for both First Class and Standard carriages:
New LED lighting;
New seat covers;
Upgraded environmentally-friendly controlled emission toilets, including new floors and new taps;
Re-painting of the carriage interior saloon and vestibule panels, walls and ceilings.
Exterior painting of all carriages is also currently taking place as part of a separate programme already underway.
The work will be undertaken at a specially prepared facility at Abellio Greater Anglia’s Crown Point Depot in Norwich and the first refurbished carriages are due to enter service in the first quarter of next year, with the full programme completed by the end of the train operator’s current short franchise in October 2016. Work to prepare the site in Norwich is already underway and key materials needed as part of the project are already being ordered.
Commenting on the deal agreed with Vossloh, Abellio Greater Anglia’s Managing Director Jamie Burles said: “We are delighted to sign this contract with Vossloh Kiepe UK for the upgrade of our MkIII carriage fleet. This major refresh will deliver a significant improvement in the travelling environment for passengers on our key intercity services between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London, with the first upgraded carriages due into service in the first quarter of next year. We are also pleased that the work will be carried out at our Crown Point Depot in Norwich. It is good news for customers, stakeholders and the region that this major enhancement will be delivered during our current short franchise contract to October 2016. We worked very hard to ensure that this investment scheme was approved as part of our contract and it illustrates our commitment to delivering a high quality service on the route.
“It is also an important step forward as we work together to secure further improvements on the Great Eastern Main Line as part of the Great Eastern Rail Taskforce and we continue to encourage wider support for the Great Eastern Rail Campaign (please sign up at www.newanglia.co.uk/gerailcampaign) to help achieve the rolling stock, journey time and infrastructure upgrades in the years to come, which we all wish to see and are working towards.”
Graham Roberts, Managing Director of Vossloh Kiepe UK said: “We are delighted to have won this award, which allows us to demonstrate our 25 years of experience in modernisation and upgrade of UK railway vehicles to the improvement of passenger facilities on the MkIII carriages. We are committed to delivering this enhancement at Crown Point Depot on time and in close partnership with our customer Abellio Greater Anglia.”