The first four refurbished Class 442 trains have finally re-entered service on the South Western Railway network, running on the London to Portsmouth route via Guildford, Haslemere and Petersfield and on the London to Poole route via Winchester, Southampton Central and Bournemouth.
Previously used on Gatwick Express services and on the Southern route from Brighton and Eastbourne to London Bridge, 18 refurbished trains were planned to enter service in December 2018. However, various difficulties, including an overrun of the refurbishment work, staff training, the operation of the door locks and interfaces with the signalling system, delayed their introduction until 6 January 2020.
The trains have refurbished interiors including ‘2+2 seating’ in Standard Class, Axminster carpets, at-seat power for mobile devices and real-time passenger information displays. First Class has also been upgraded with new leather seats and tables.
South Western Railway engineering director Neil Drury said: “We’re really pleased that these refurbished trains are now in passenger service.
“We’re proud of the fact the works have been undertaken at Eastleigh and Bournemouth depots. This has meant investment in local facilities across the South Western network, helping to boost the economy and secures jobs for people living in the communities we serve.
“We will look to introduce all of the Class 442s in the fleet back in to service as soon as possible.”