Trains to get £8 million refurbishment
Express trains serving the West Midlands are to receive an £8.3 million makeover ahead of their replacement in two years' time.
Avanti West Coast, which replaced Virgin Trains as the provider of inter-city services in the region last year, is to upgrade its fleet of 20 Voyager trains this year.
The Voyagers, which were inherited from Virgin, have been operating on the line since 2001. They will receive new seat covers, carpets and toilets, while the interior of the carriages will be completely repainted.
The first new-look Voyager will enter service this month, and all carriages will be refurbished by December.
The Voyagers, due to be replaced by the new Class 805 and 807 multiple units in 2022, operate on the non-electrified sections of the West Coast franchise. They provide all express services in Shropshire, but are also commonly used on services from Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley and Birmingham.
The refit, which will be carried out by Bombardier Transportation in Ilford, East London, will also see all lighting replaced with more energy-efficient LEDs.
Avanti West Coast director Andy Barnes said: “We know that ultimately our Voyagers will be retired from the West Coast Main Line.
“But with two years on the rails, we wanted to improve them and not leave them as they are.
"All these improvements should enhance the customer experience and leave them looking very smart.
“It’s a significant investment that shows we will take every opportunity to invest and improve our product and service wherever we can.”
Bombardier's Tim Bentley, said the company was delighted to be carrying out the work.
"The Voyager remains a great train and by refreshing the customer environment we can keep them that way," he said.