East Midlands Trains has this week embarked on the final phase of a £30 million programme to totally refurbish its entire fleet of trains. The final stage of the programme will see all of East Midlands Trains’ 27 Meridian trains (Class 222s) completely refurbished.
The improvement programme, which will be carried out at the company’s Derby Etches Park Depot, will deliver a totally new interior look for passengers. New leather seats will enhance the First Class area of the train, and new seat covers and carpeting will deliver improvements throughout the Standard Class coaches. As part of the refurbishment, there will also be changes to increase the available luggage space.
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’re really excited to be starting work on the final stage of our £30 million train refurbishment programme. Whilst the Meridians are the newest trains within our fleet, we still want to make sure they given their fair share of care and attention as part of our refurbishment programme.
“We’re sure that our passengers will be delighted with the extra touches, including the additional luggage space and the new luxury leather seats which will help to give an extra special feel to our First Class coaches.”
The £6 million refurbishment is due to be completed by early 2012. The Meridian trains are used to operate services on the East Midlands Trains main line route to London, which includes services from Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester to London St Pancras and the daily service from Lincoln to London. The trains operate in 4, 5 and 7 car formations, and a total of 143 vehicles will be refurbished through this programme.
All the Meridian fleet is now fitted with on board WiFi offering passengers easy access to the internet, email and other online applications, whether for work or leisure purposes. First Class passengers can benefit from complimentary access to the service, whilst other passengers pay a small charge using a debit or credit card through the online secure payment page.
East Midlands Trains has recently completed the £10 million refurbishment of its Class 158 trains, mainly used to operate services on the busy Liverpool-Norwich route and the £9 million refurbishment of its HSTs used on the main line to London. The 28 Class 153/156 trains used to operate local services are currently being refurbished. Once all of these programmes are complete, it will mean every train operated by East Midlands Trains will have benefitted from interior improvements.