May 24 2013 Latest news:
by DAN GRIMMER
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Train passengers in Norfolk and Suffolk are set for better trains after operator Greater Anglia announced it would be spending £3m to upgrade carriages.
Nine of the train companies’ two-carriage Class 156 vehicles will get a complete interior overhaul, with a deep clean, new carpets, seat covers and a new passenger information system.
The trains are in operation on several routes across the Greater Anglia network including the Norwich to Great Yarmouth, Norwich to Sheringham and Ipswich to Lowestoft lines.
Each train will also receive a brand new coat of paint in the company’s red and white livery.
Work on the upgrade started earlier this month, with the first due to be completed and returned to service at the end of November.
The entire refurbishment programme will continue until late 2013.
As part of the overhaul, extra work is being carried out to make the fleet compliant with future changes to the regulations for disabled passengers.
That extra work will include a revised seating layout to provide priority seats - two wheelchair spaces with “call for aid” buttons and a new universal toilet with wheelchair access.
Norfolk and Suffolk MPs, along with local councils and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, have been calling for improvements to the region’s railways.
The campaign has called for better, faster, more regular trains, with major investment in track and stations in the regions.
Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, whose constituency includes the Ipswich to Lowestoft East Suffolk Line, said: “I’m delighted that passengers on the East Suffolk line will benefit from refurbished trains with a nicer travelling environment, better information provision and upgraded toilet facilities.
“Coupled with the introduction of an hourly service on the route from December, it means passengers along this vitally important corridor are seeing major improvements to their train service over the coming months, which will also support the local economy, help local communities and make our region more accessible.
“I’m pleased to see Greater Anglia delivering on their commitments to enhance train services on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line.”