Thursday, 4 October 2012

Multi-million-pound train fleet investment set to create jobs and boost disability travel

£23 million overhaul of South West Trains Class 455 fleet

Work has started on a multi-million-pound investment in a key part of the South West Trains fleet and a new state-of-the-art paint shop that will boost the regional economy, create jobs and improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities.
The £23 million contract to overhaul 91 four-car Class 455 electric trains - the backbone of services in the London area - will improve the interiors, see new doors installed and make the fleet fully accessible for disabled customers.
Train leasing company Porterbrook has awarded the contract for the work to South West Trains and the four-year programme of work will be carried out at Bournemouth traincare depot in Dorset.
Construction and civil engineering company BAM Nutall has also started construction of new £3.2 million paint shop at the depot, with completion scheduled in April 2013.
Both projects will result in 38 new full-time jobs at the depot and mean all maintenance, overhaul and repainting work can be carried out at Bournemouth for the first time.
Christian Roth, Fleet Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “Porterbrook’s decision to award us the contract to overhaul our trains at Bournemouth has allowed us to invest £3.2 million in a new state-of-the-art paint shop.
“This is good news for Dorset as we are creating new jobs and bringing new skills to Bournemouth depot, which benefits the local economy.
“From April we will no longer have to send our trains elsewhere for repainting as Bournemouth will become a one-stop-shop. For the first time ever, we will be able to maintain all our fleets in-house.
“This gives us the flexibility to custom build overhaul programmes around our specific business needs, allowing us to return our overhauled trains back to work quickly, in a cost-effective way that benefits our passengers.”

South West Trains 91 strong four-car Class 455 Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) fleet were built by British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL) in York between 1984 and 1985 for use on the third rail system and provides the back bone of trains that operate South West Trains London Metro services. The whole fleet will undergo a programme of heavy maintenance between now and November 2016. The maintenance programme, known as a C6 overhaul, includes a full exterior repaint in two-pack paint, a major update of the passenger and crew door systems, and a heavy duty clean of the interior.

As part of the Class 455 overhaul programme, Porterbrook have extended the scope to include any outstanding work needed to make the units Passengers of Reduced Mobility – Technical Specification for Interoperability,” ahead of the 2020 deadline compliant, ahead of the 2020 deadline. The vehicles are already largely compliant due to previous modifications and refurbishment work, but the additional work required includes:
  • Fitment of compliant external door sounders
  • Internal door handles moderated to a compliant design
  • Call for aid button fitted at both wheelchair positions
  • Wheelchair ramps