Work has started on a multi-million-pound investment in a key part of the South West Trains fleet and a new state-of-the-art paint shop that will boost the regional economy, create jobs and improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities.
The £23 million contract to overhaul 91 four-car Class 455 electric trains - the backbone of services in the London area - will improve the interiors, see new doors installed and make the fleet fully accessible for disabled customers.
Train leasing company Porterbrook has awarded the contract for the work to South West Trains and the four-year programme of work will be carried out at Bournemouth traincare depot in Dorset.
Construction and civil engineering company BAM Nutall has also started construction of new £3.2 million paint shop at the depot, with completion scheduled in April 2013.
Both projects will result in 38 new full-time jobs at the depot and mean all maintenance, overhaul and repainting work can be carried out at Bournemouth for the first time.
Christian Roth, Alliance Fleet Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “Porterbrook, by awarding us the contract to overhaul our trains at Bournemouth, has allowed us to invest £3.2 million in a new state of the art paint shop.
“This is good news for Dorset as we are creating new jobs and bringing new skills to Bournemouth depot, which benefits the local economy.”
“From April we will no longer have to send our trains elsewhere for repainting as Bournemouth will become a one stop shop and for the first time ever, we will be able to maintain all our fleets in- house.
“This gives us the flexibility to custom build overhaul programmes around our specific business needs, allowing us to return our overhauled trains back to work quickly, in a cost effective way that benefits our passengers.“