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£60 million Class 321 rebuild announced

An initial 30 four-car Class 321 electric multiple units will be rebuilt with revamped interiors by Wabtec Rail, in a £60 million deal.

Owned by Eversholt Rail and used by Abellio Greater Anglia, the ‘321s’ will be rebuilt in a similar fashion to 321448, which was released into traffic at the end of 2013.

Branded the Renatus, the rebuilt trains will undergo a time-based overhaul where they will be fitted with Passengers of Reduced Mobility - Technical Specification for Interoperability (PRM-TSI)-compliant interiors. Eversholt spokesman Wendy Filer told RAIL: “Engineering work has already commenced, and the first unit is due into works later in 2015.”

  • For more on this story, see RAIL 776, published on June 10.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 07/06/2015 13:16

    As Abellio Greater Anglia will not be getting brand new commuter trains but instead to keep the 94x Class 321's and 72x Class 317's (except Class 317/7/8's are with London Overground if TFL are to order more Class 378 Electrostars for the West Anglia metro and Romford-Upminster lines). Class 321's do need a lot of refurbishment and to have new floors, seats, lights, doors, traction motors and also to be air-conditioned with new air-conditioning vents fitted on top of the trains carriages as well replacing the windows with double glazed windows and air-vents by side of the windows for extra air-conditioning. The Class 321's are 32 years old but they are still very good reliable electric multiple unit trains that serves most parts of Essex and into Ipswich to/from London Liverpool Street.

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    • VeryDisgruntledAGAPassenger - 04/07/2015 11:31

      Have you ever travelled on a 321? Moreover, have you ever travelled on the "upgraded" pile of cack that is 321448? I have. It is not a nice place to be. The new lights are much too bright, and the upholstery is too. Out of 3 trips on this train, what passes for the air-conditioning failed on one of them and it was withdrawn and the service cancelled. For me that's a 33% failure rate. It's so brittle it has spent more time in the depot than it has in service and has consistently only been used to run one or two services a day, which were gleefully advertised by AGA on Twitter. As time has passed, the interior has become shabbier and the new seats are now decidedly threadbare. It is not a solution to AGA's reliability issues, they will continue to worsen as long as they continue to use these 30 year old wrecks. We need new trains on the Great Eastern line and we need them now!

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  • WorseThanBR - 25/11/2015 15:22

    Having travelled on the new unit I can confirm that whatever colour you paint it it is stil a 30 year old train, bad ride, very noisy and the refurb feels like it was done to a price, and a low one. So now we have aircon, sort off and one off those rubbish sliding door toilets, but the signage and PA system is still rubbish. It also has less seats. Over all, not impressed. In service the shine has faded rapidly. Not all AGA's problmms are due to rolling stock, Network Fail has built at least 2 new depots on the main line but the infrastructure is still awful/unreliable but AGA needs new trains

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