This week marked the achievement of another milestone in train operator Northern’s modernisation plans as it sent its 30th refurbished train out onto its network.
The latest unit to go into service was 150276, which went into service out of Northern’s Newton Heath depot and served customers in and around the Manchester area.
Northern, the UK’s largest rail operator outside of London, is working towards improving all of the 243 trains in its existing fleet that will continue to operate beyond 2020.
The refurbishment makes all the trains fully accessible and also brings cosmetic changes such as a new livery, an internal paint refresh and new floor coverings. The upgraded trains are now in service across the North and customers are really noticing the difference, commenting on how smart the new exterior branding looks and how much lighter and brighter the interiors are.
Ben Ackroyd, Northern’s Engineering Director, said: “These refurbished units are bringing a real step change when it comes to the quality of rail travel in the North and this is just the first phase; the upgrades are part of a multi-million pound rolling programme that will see new seats and free wifi for customers installed in the next round of works.
Since I joined Northern in March I’ve been really proud of the work that has gone into delivering these improvements. It’s great to see the impact the refurbished trains are making as we work towards delivering our brand new fleet of trains later next year.”
The refurbishment of the existing fleet of trains comes alongside many other modernisation plans for the Northern network, including the introduction of 98 new trains, better stations, and more and faster services.