The first completed Class 175 upgraded train rolled off the line at Alstom’s Technology Centre in Widnes (www.alstom.com
), Cheshire, in mid-July.
The upgrades include USB and plug sockets, newly covered seats, new carpets, and new interior fittings (including table covers); furthermore, the exterior will be rebranded in Transport for Wales (TfW) colours.
All 27 trains within the Class 175 fleet will receive the upgrades, which will then be replicated on the other classes of train operated by TfW.
TfW Rail Services Customer Experience director Colin Lea said: “While we are investing more than £800 million in brand-new trains, they take time to build, and we want our customers to have a comfortable experience right now.
This significant investment is another major step to building a better railway for current and future generations.”
The Class 175 investment amounts to £6.7 million and is currently scheduled to run throughout 2020. The remainder of the £40 million will be spent across the rest of the TfW fleet in the coming months.
Meanwhile, TfW says it will be creating 60 new jobs, as it continues with a £5 billion investment programme to transform the Wales and Borders transport network.
A major part of its plans is the development of the South Wales Metro — a multi-modal integrated public transport network designed to transform rail services, local bus services and “active travel”.
TfW Rail Services will be responsible for the day-to-day management of railway-infra-structure assets, renewals and asset operations management for the next 14 years (with effect from this autumn).
The new jobs will be based at the new Treforest Estate facility.