Are these the same seats we'll be seeing on the refurbished 442/444 trains?
No - thank God! The standard class seats of the 444 will be staying the same, whilst the new first class seats will be quite similar to the standard seats in 2+2 layout. I'm not entirely sure about the 442s, but I don't really see the need to change the standard class seats seeing as they were refurbished not that long ago.
Hi Jim, information and some images on the layout of our class 444 trains can be found on our website here http://bit.ly/2EOufY5 Whilst I don't have a link to provide you with more information on class 442's, the formation of first class seats will be arranged in a 2x2 layout.
Just to provide some customer feedback. Traveled down to Weymouth last Saturday on SWR. Despite the "Rail Strike" the journey was uneventful other than waiting for a late running Weymouth to Waterloo to clear the platform. It was the old SWT layout and SWT paint scheme on outside Class 444 running the old SWT plan (stopping at an empty Branksome and Parkstone). It is less stressful then driving given the poor roads after the M27 ends but no quicker. A move to 2+2 seats will simply cause me to revert to driving as it will be a more comfortable experience. High Density stock is appropriate for shorter journeys of an hour or so but 2.5 - 3 hours it is not. Now I was told on this forum before Easter the plans had changed and there were no plans to downgrade Class 444 First Class to 2+2. I guess we wait and see. Been using train to Weymouth for a few years now save for journeys when the tracks are ripped up. Maybe the road alternative will become permanent?
The refurbished 444 that I have seen on Portsmouth-Waterloo have been downgraded in first class from 2+1 to 2+2; essentially they are the same as standard class. Why?
The first class on the 444s is not IDENTICAL to standard class. In first class, it has leather upholstery, wireless charging and I think the seats are slightly bigger than the ones in standard class. The seating configuration is the same as standard class(2+2), but apart from that, there are differences between first and standard class.