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Southeastern's High-Speed Makeover: The £27 Million Revamp of Britain's Fastest Trains

Southeastern's High-Speed Makeover: The £27 Million Revamp of Britain's Fastest Trains
photo: Hitachi Rail/Southeastern's High-Speed Makeover: The L27 Million Revamp of Britain's Fastest Trains
19 / 08 / 2023

Southeastern is steering a significant transformation for Britain's swiftest passenger trains with a £27 million facelift. Initiating this change is the iconic ‘Trainbow’, or Unit 395012, which went into Ashford's maintenance depot on 12th June for a substantial interior makeover and has today resumed service.

The remaining 28 high-speed trains await their turn for a series of enhancements, including new interiors, a live passenger information system upgrade (set for 2024), state-of-the-art CCTV, USB charging options, LED lights, and vital energy meters to minimize the line's environmental footprint.

Underpinning this initiative is the vision to future-proof the UK's sole super high-speed passenger fleet. Already renowned for their reliability, positive passenger feedback, and contribution of a staggering £1 billion to the Kent tourism sector, this upgrade further emphasizes Southeastern's pledge to refine and uplift its services. Notably, this venture is a collaborative effort between Southeastern, Hitachi Rail, and Eversholt Rail. Speaking about the project, Southeastern’s Engineering Director, Mark Johnson, highlighted the meticulous refurbishing efforts, such as repainting and replacing interiors, and the forthcoming upgraded passenger information system that promises to enhance passenger experiences even further.

Endorsements for the revamp were echoed by Paul Sutherland of Eversholt Rail, who anticipates a rejuvenated travel experience for South East commuters. Meanwhile, Jim Brewin of Hitachi Rail expressed pride in their role, emphasizing their intent to blend high-speed performance with digital innovation. Their goal is to craft a fleet that's not just swift, but also among the UK's most digitally sophisticated.