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The full ‘Class 185’ fleet of trains are now going through a phased refurbishment programme, and over the next few weeks and months customers will start to notice the new trains more and more as every one of the 51 units receives a full modern makeover.
TPE’s upgrade project is a £32million investment in the fleet, working with manufacturing company Siemens, and train owner Eversholt Rail, to create a special and improved experience for customers. The upgrades include brand new seats throughout, including leather in first class, and real practical benefits such as: standard plug and USB sockets at every pair of seats, both in standard and first class; bigger tables to allow more space for laptops and devices; refitted toilets; and LED lighting throughout.
Once the full programme of upgrades is completed in 2018, the trains will be fitted with even more improvements including information screens, and free, fast Wi-Fi and an on-board entertainment system.
TPE’s vision is ‘taking the North further’, and the company has worked with local suppliers from across the North to complete the refurbishment. The quality is extremely high, with standard class seat fabrics made by Camira Fabrics, based near Huddersfield, and the first class curtains are made by A.W. Hainsworth, who are based in Pudsey.
Paul Staples, Fleet Director for TransPennine Express, said: "I'm thrilled to have launched the first of the enhanced trains. I am proud of what we have achieved with Siemens, Eversholt Rail and all of the local companies supplying material and expertise to create this leap forward in journey experience for everyone in the North as part of the new TransPennine Express. This is just the start, though; over the next year all of the Class 185 trains will get this upgrade and over the next three years we will introduce 44 brand new trains, giving our customers more carriages, more seats, better reliability and more comfortable, enjoyable, productive journeys with us in the North."
Stephen Timothy, Client Relations Director at Eversholt Rail commented: “We are delighted to continue to support TransPennine Express by investing further in our Class 185 fleet. The quality of these refurbished trains will transform the customer environment and experience in line with TPE’s vision to take the North further. We look forward to working in partnership with TPE and Siemens to deliver the full programme.”
Pete Redding, Fleet Operations Director (North) for Siemens, said: "We are delighted that the first newly refurbished Class 185 train has reentered service, enabling customers to start benefiting from the significantly enhanced interior environment. The Siemens team at our train production facility in York and contractors working on our behalf are looking forward to giving each of our 51 trains a modern new look in the months ahead."