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South Western Railway complete £70m train service refurbishment

South Western Railway (SWR) have completed their £70m Desiro refurbishment programme. Picture credits: SWR

South Western Railway (SWR) have completed the £70m refurbishment programme for their Desiro train service.

The final Desiro train entered has now entered passenger service across the SWR railway network.

The programme began in December 2017, with the aim of modernising all 172 Class 444 and 450 trains to improve the onboard experience for customers travelling between London Waterloo, Weymouth, Poole and Portsmouth stations.

A Class 450 Desiro is the final refurbed train and it includes improved Wi-Fi, access to SWR-Stream, new charging tables and power sockets, refreshed toilets and improved seating.

An additional 1,305 seats are in place across the standard-class trains.

The investment programme - financed by Angel Trains - is part of SWR's wider £1.2bn plan to provide more capacity for customers on board its trains, as well as more frequent trains and quicker journey times.

(Some interior images of South Western Railway's new-look Desiro trains. Picture credits: South Western Railway)

Customers across SWR's Windsor and reading routes will also benefit from the introduction of new Class 701 trains later this year.

Some Class 442 trains have also been reintroduced as part of the new January timetable offering 80 more services.

Neil Drury, SWR’s Engineering Director, said: 

"This massive refurbishment programme is a huge investment by SWR which offers customers, using our long-distance services, a quality on-board experience.

"I’m proud to see the final refurbished Class 450 train in the programme enter service, and by the end of this year, more trains will roll-out to help us fulfil our promise of offering 52,000 extra seats over the course of the franchise."

Sambit Banerjee, Managing Director of Siemens Mobility’s Rolling Stock business in the UK, said:

"The full refurbishment of the 172-strong Class 444 and Class 450 ‘Desiro’ fleet is a highly complex and demanding project, which was achieved through very close collaboration with SWR. 

"We are extremely proud to achieve this very significant milestone in this project and to be contributing to an enhanced experience for SWR’s passengers."

Kevin Tribley, CEO of Angel Trains, said:

"Investing in the development of rolling stock that reflects the evolving needs of today’s passenger is a crucial part of modernising our railways.

"We’re delighted to have supported this ambitious refurbishment project, which will modernise the ‘Desiro’ fleet and enable SWR to better serve its passengers."

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