UK: An agreement to refurbish the fleet of 29 six-car Class 395 electric multiple-units used on services from London St Pancras to Kent has been signed by leasing company Eversholt Rail, operator Southeastern and manufacturer Hitachi Rail.
The £27m programme to provide a ‘step change in the passenger experience’ will include:
- a full interior refresh, including new carpets and seats;
- revised seating layouts to assist people with reduced mobility;
- live passenger information, including media screens from 2024;
- CCTV improvements to provide live loading data;
- at-seat USB chargers;
- LED lighting;
- roof mounted high-definition cameras for live monitoring of pantographs and overhead lines.
The initial phase of the refurbishment will take seven months and include design, engineering and procurement. Work on the first of the EMUs is expected to begin in March 2023 at Southeastern’s Ashford depot, management and ownership of which was transerred from Hitachi on April 1 2021. More than three-quarters of the staff at the depot are still employed by Hitachi, a spokesman told Rail Business UK on October 17.
The operator’s Engineering Director Mark Johnson said the programme announced on October 13 would ‘bring the fleet up to the very latest standards and ensure that standards of comfort, accessibility and information provision are as high as possible’.