UK inter-city operator First Great Western has unveiled the first trailer coaches to be refurbished by Bombardier at its Derby plant under a £63m programme to overhaul the 53-strong IC125 HST diesel fleet.

The first fully-refurbished trainset was officially unveiled with a Plymouth - London special train on January 17. The MkIII carriages have been extensively refitted, with lighting systems, toilets and the catering area all redesigned.

Perhaps the most extensive part of the upgrade involves the seating. Working closely with German seating specialist Grammer for standard class (RG 11.06 p747) and Primarius UK for first class, Bombardier has installed a new range of ergonomically-designed, laptop computer-friendly seats throughout the train. Primarius' first class seats (right) are the only leather seats available to passengers on the UK network.

In standard class meanwhile, FGW's franchise commitments call for it to provide extra capacity on its increasingly overcrowded services from London to Swindon and Bristol. To this end, Grammer has designed its seats to provide better laptop access in airline configuration. This has enabled FGW to remove several table bays from the standard class coaches. Each airline seat has a pull-down table with an extendable tray capable of holding both a drinks cup and a computer. Power points will be provided next to each seat.

Both interior and exterior colour schemes have also been amended, with the refurbished coaches bearing FirstGroup's latest 'Neon' livery.