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SWR Introduces Refurbished Class 458 Trains with Enhanced Passenger Amenities

SWR Introduces Refurbished Class 458 Trains with Enhanced Passenger Amenities
photo: Alstom / Public domain/Alstom Class 458 for SWR
02 / 07 / 2024

South Western Railway (SWR) has introduced the first of its newly refurbished Class 458 trains, enhancing the travel experience for passengers on its network.

Seventeen of SWR’s Class 458 fleet have been refurbished by Alstom at its Transport Technology Centre in Widnes so far, with an additional 11 units slated for upgrades. The units will be paired to operate as eight-car services between London Waterloo and Weybridge via Brentford, and London Waterloo and Twickenham.

Source: Alstom / Public domain

Each four-car unit now features 234 seats in a two-by-two configuration, complete with seat back tables, charging points, and space for two wheelchair users. Each carriage includes two tables equipped with wireless charging points. The refurbishment process, taking two weeks per set, involved reconfiguring the vehicles for faster acceleration and installing new carpets. The Crewe facility upgraded the Class 458’s powered wheelsets, increasing their top speed from 75mph to 100mph.

Source: Alstom / Public domain

John Clerk, Head of Operations for Widnes at Alstom, mentioned the meticulous work done by the team. "The team at Widnes has worked diligently to install new seating, tables, and at-seat power throughout the trains, which all meet the evolving needs of fare-paying passengers in the South of England," he said. Clerk added, "The refurbishment of these Class 458 units not only highlights our expertise in train modernisation but also our dedication to sustainable transport solutions, as we work in partnership with operators and rolling stock leasing companies to encourage more people to travel by rail."

Neil Drury, South Western Railway’s Engineering and Infrastructure Director, said "We are very pleased to introduce the first of our refurbished Class 458 units. Their interior refresh, including improved seating and newly installed tables and charging points, will make a noticeable difference to our customers’ journeys." 

Source: Alstom, SWR