Passengers in Lincolnshire today had the opportunity to travel on a ‘new look’ train as Lincolnshire County Council joined forces with East Midlands Trains to mark the successful start of the train company’s £5 million fleet refurbishment programme.
To celebrate the first refurbished train (153 319) returning to the tracks, Councillor Ken Milner, Executive Support Councillor for Lincolnshire County Council joined Tim Sayer, Engineering Director of East Midlands Trains for a special ceremony at Lincoln Central station. As well as having an opportunity to see first-hand the improvements that have been made as part of this significant investment programme, guests were invited to join passengers for a trip to Doncaster.
The refurbishment programme, which includes all of East Midlands Trains’ 17-carriage fleet of Class 153 and 11 Class 156 trains, is currently taking place at the company’s Neville Hill Depot in Leeds. The programme started during the summer and will be complete by the end of 2011. It will bring a number of passenger benefits including:
· Re-upholstered seating and new carpets throughout offering a clean and fresh new look
· Improved interior lighting
· Installation of CCTV for the first time
· New interior wall coverings, including in the toilet area. New vinyl has also been fitted to the floor of the toilet area, providing a significantly improved facility for passengers.
In addition, the trains have all been re-painted in the East Midlands Trains livery to give a consistent look, and are also benefitting from extensive modification work to ensure they are running as reliably and efficiently as possible.
Commenting on the launch of the first refurbished train, Tim Sayer, Engineering Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “This marks a significant moment in the development of East Midlands Trains. The launch of this train today follows fast on the heels of the £19 million refurbishment of our High Speed Trains and Class 158 trains, which has been very well received by our passengers.
“Our trains provide vital links for the local community and we’re confident the extensive improvement work to our Class 153 and 156 trains will result in a much better travelling environment that will also be welcomed by our passengers.”
Councillor Ken Milner, Executive Support Councillor for Lincolnshire County Council, added: “We want Lincolnshire to have the best public transport possible. This initiative will make train travel an even more attractive option for those making a journey. Ideally, this will encourage more people to leave the car behind and get on board a cleaner, greener mode of transport.”
The Class 153/156 trains are used to operate services on East Midlands Trains’ local routes, such as Lincoln-Doncaster, Lincoln-Nottingham and Leicester, Nottingham-Derby-Matlock, Derby-Crewe, Nottingham-Worksop and Nottingham-Skegness.