Eversholt Rail, in partnership with Greater Anglia, will be running a fully refurbished Class 321 Demonstrator unit on part of the Greater Anglia mainline route in 2013. The Demonstrator will showcase how high–specification refurbishment to the existing fleet of Class 321 EMUs can compare favourably with the passenger experience and performance of new trains, at a fraction of the cost. It will operate in normal service for a year.
The four–car unit has been upgraded by Wabtec in Doncaster and a number of other UK based suppliers have been used. It will contain two distinct interiors: one inner suburban layout, one outer suburban layout. Designed to a modern interior specification, which is the equivalent of a new train, Eversholt Rail will exhibit and gather feedback on a range of options available to franchise bidders. Some of the key features and passenger benefits will include:
New saloon and cab air conditioning
New saloon heating
Metro and suburban seat layouts
2 vehicles Suburban with refurbished existing seating
2 vehicles Metro with extended vestibule to allow easier access, 2+2 new high back seats
New First Class area with power operated doors, new leather seats
One Standard toilet refurbished and a PRM TSI compliant toilet
Two wheelchair areas
New energy efficient LED lighting
New modern glazed windows
Mary Kenny, Chief Executive Officer said: “We received fantastic feedback from the rail community following the Mark IV exhibition in December, which showcased the possibilities for the East Coast Mainline. Working in partnership with both Greater Anglia and Wabtec we are now able to demonstrate, not just to the rail community, but also the passengers along the Greater Anglia route, the quality that can be achieved by refurbishing the existing Class 321 fleet, is an incredibly exciting proposition.”
Ruud Haket, Managing Director, Greater Anglia said: “We are pleased to work with Eversholt Rail and Wabtec as part of this initiative to showcase the customer benefits of a refurbished and upgraded Class 321 train. We look forward to hearing the views of our customers on the Demonstrator train.”
Chris Weatherall, Wabtec Group’s Managing Director, said “Wabtec are delighted to have worked with Eversholt Rail in the development of the Class 321 Demonstrator. The project has given Wabtec the opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in creating a modern, refurbished train interior and so improving the Greater Anglia customer experience.”
As a separate project Eversholt Rail is also developing a prototype traction system for the Class 321 fleet with Vossloh Kiepe to increase traction performance and energy efficiency to that of a new train. This will increase the rolling stock options and choices available to the new franchise bidders to get the best ‘value’ propositions presented by this and other franchise opportunities.