How is the refurbishment of the Desiro stock going? We have seen a few Class 450 units with the incomplete interiors, however only one of them was reliveried. And there have been no Class 444s. I understand that you may be focussing on the Class 442 fleet, but SWR have been carrying out this refurbishment programme for over 8 months now, and we haven't actually seen the full improvements that SWR have promised as part of their contract. It has been acknowledged that you will miss your original finishing date of December this year, but at this rate you'll also miss the revised 'Spring 2019' date. And since it has been said previously that the first fully refurbished unit will come into service 'Summer 2018', and we are running out of Summer and there is still no news or updates from SWR, since the whole newsletter idea also seems to have been given up on. So, when will we see the first fully refurbished train enter passenger service? When will poor 444040 see the light of day again (been in the shop since at least February)?
Hi Sam, unfortunately I don't have a definitive answer at the moment, it's all up in the air. I think it's sliding more towards 'if' any will get fully refurbished...
Basically, as the timetable change has been delayed, the release of the 442s will be late too, as network rail don't want them on the Portsmouth line without an increase in frequency. This has meant space in Eastleigh is limited for the moment (the current ''part' refurbishment is all that can be done at the depot)
There is also an issue with the contractors unable to obtain parts etc for the full refurbishment.
But the real deciding factor in when/if any will be fully refurbished is the renegotiation of the franchise. That has resulted in the abolishing of the timescales above, hence swr are in no rush. This renegotiation may,as passenger numbers are currently lower than expected, result in the abolishing of the full refurbishment altogether, thus 444040 is taking ages.
This seems to be on a hold now until they can renegotiate their francise sadly. The units they already did are sadly looking very sorry already as the materials used dont seem to be very hard wearing.
I've now heard that they've reached a major sticking point with 444040's refurbishment in that they have found the guards compartment/buffet to be integral to the structure of the coach and removing them would potentially be unsafe.
That, I presume, is why they have been taking so long, as no one can seem to come up with a solution.
Apparently, the first phase of refurbished trains are now back in service. Click this link for more info: www.railadvent.co.uk/.../south-western-railway-release-time-lapse-footage-of-train-refurbishment.html
Yeah - this isn't new it's merely a refresh rather than a refurbishment, with no changes in seat layout etc.
I think all the 450s earmarked for the refresh have been done now - from next month onwards all units to be done should be released with the full refurbishment including relocation of first class, or so I've heard (take it with a pinch of salt). After they've been done the partly refreshed units will be brought back in and given the full refurbishment.
444040 should also be released next month, but in what state remains to be seen...