In keeping with Eversholt Rail’s ongoing commitment to deliver contemporary and high performing fleets to its customers, the new-look Class 321 “Renatus” fleet, which is being delivered by Wabtec Rail, will provide a step change in passenger environment, maintainability and cost effectiveness. The first unit is due into works next month at the Wabtec Rail facility in Doncaster with the first of the upgraded Renatus trains entering service early next year.
The scope of works includes:
• New air-conditioning and heating systems
• New, safer seating throughout
• Larger vestibules for improved boarding and alighting
• Wi-Fi enabled for passengers and operator
• Improved space allocation for buggies, bicycles and luggage
• Passenger power sockets throughout
• New, energy efficient lighting
• One PRM compliant toilet and a second controlled emission toilet on each unit
• Complete renewal and remodelling of all interior surfaces
Eversholt Rail has committed to this investment ahead of the new East Anglia franchise being let. This phase of the contract is for the initial tranche of 30 Class 321s, with the first 10 units being delivered into service with Abellio Greater Anglia by October 2016 and the remaining 20 units being offered for service when the new East Anglia franchise starts.
To ensure the highest standards of product quality from the outset the programme will be delivered from a multi-million pound dedicated new production facility in Doncaster using state of the art systems and processes.
In addition to the extensive improvements to the passenger environment, the Class 321 Demonstrator is currently being fitted with a new traction system by Vossloh Kiepe UK Limited at Network Rail’s Rail Innovation and Development Centre, Old Dalby. The re-traction includes 4 new-design AC motors, new auxiliaries and new braking systems. Testing begins in October and will conclude in spring 2016. This is a further investment of £5.5m by Eversholt Rail to integrate this pre-series upgrade. The project scope includes design, production, type testing, combined testing, unit fitment, track testing and approvals.
Andy Course, Chief Operating Officer Eversholt Rail said “Our investment in the Renatus upgrade provides a transformation for future passengers. We continue to be impressed by the rate of progress from our supply chain partners in readiness for what will be one of the largest refurbishment programmes ever undertaken.”
Commenting on the refurbishment of the ten Class 321 trains in the current Abellio Greater Anglia franchise, Managing Director Jamie Burles said:
“I am delighted we have been able to agree this major transformation of ten of our Class 321 trains, transforming the customer environment on these key carriages which are used by many thousands of our passengers every day. With air conditioning, new seats, new lighting, new toilets, Wi-Fi and power sockets, customers will see a real “step change” in the quality of the on-train experience to offer a better, more comfortable journey. We are pleased to have worked in partnership with Eversholt Rail and Wabtec Rail to agree this significant train upgrade programme”
Ray Betler, President and CEO for Wabtec Corporation, said: “We are pleased to begin this major upgrade program which will help Eversholt Rail Group deliver a significant improvement in transportation for UK passengers. We look forward to unveiling the new multi-million pound production facility, which shows that strong collaboration between organizations within the rail industry delivers value for all stakeholders.”
Mark Williamson, Managing Director of Vossloh Kiepe UK Limited said “Vossloh Kiepe is very proud to be part of the highly innovative and proactive approach being adopted by Eversholt Rail in upgrading and modernising its Class 321 units. Our clear focus is on ensuring that our newly fitted traction equipment and integrated braking enhancements deliver a highly reliable and greatly improved Class 321 performance level for Eversholt Rail, the train operators and the passengers that use these trains in future years.”