Northern completes first phase of train refurbishment
Northern has completed the initial refurbishment of its train fleet as part of the overall transformation programme being undertaken by the train operator.
More than 260 trains have now been through the first phase of refurbishment which has seen each carriage fully repainted and fitted out with new seating, carpet and lighting.
The final unit to go through the process, 158861, was completed at Arriva Train Care in Crewe last week and is now ready to carry Northern customers.
Tricia Williams, Northern’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The first phase of refurbishment began almost four years ago and it’s fantastic to see the final train completed.
“268 trains have been through this process which means that, wherever our customers travel on the Northern network, they will do so either on a brand-new train, or on a refurbished train that looks as good as new.
“I’d like to thank all the companies who have helped with the first phase of the refurbishment programme as they have been absolutely vital in delivering the improvements that will mean so much to our customers.”
Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, said: “The completion of phase one of Northern’s fleet refurbishment is a fantastic milestone for rail passengers and the industry. Investing in the restoration and modernisation of our Class 158 fleet will enhance passenger safety and transform journey experience on units that look and feel good-as-new.
“We are delighted to be supporting the northern supply chain through this project, which is modernising regional rail travel.”
Tricia added: “The refurbishment of our trains is a key component of our wider programme to modernise rail travel in the north. This programme has already seen the introduction of 100 new trains, improvements at many of our stations and better ways for our customers to buy tickets.
“We’re calling this campaign A Better Way to Go, and that’s exactly what we want to give our customers across the north of England.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and when they return to the network, I’m confident they will notice the improvements to their journey experience.”
With phase one complete, Northern has already started making improvements to those trains already refurbished and phase two of the programme will see even more enhancements.
The next stage, known as ‘Digital Trains’, will deliver free WiFi, CCTV, enhanced and real time customer information screens and a raft of on-board systems designed to improve train performance and maintenance, meaning more trains will be in operation more often.