Monday 2 February 2015

Rail Refurbs

I have the choice in this sort of weather - do I stay in the warm, have nothing to write about and pay the energy companies huge sums of money for the privilage, or do I go out in the freezing cold and actually do something. I had already planned to go out today to do something but it was postponed so Plan B was actiivated and I went to Norwich Station to see the start of the latest refurbishment programme in our region.

12013 is the first IC coach to be refurbished
 Greater Anglia revealed the first Standard Class coach to undergo refurbishment at Crown Point depot this morning before it operated the 0930 to London - that's refurbished at Crown Point not revealed there. I was at Norwich to greet it on its return. Forming coach D of an 8 coach set as opposed to the normal 9 I was allowed to go inside coach 12013 and take a few pics while the train was being prepared for its next trip. Has to be said the colour scheme won't win any awards for garishness and the seats are the same seats with new upholstery so that 40yo cream is still rather prevelant.

The interior of cooach 12013
Now the plus points - I like the wood effect of the partitions which gives it a retro look. The seats themselves are firm but extremely comfortable and I would have no problem sitting on them for a long journey. The heating was quite superb - and much appreciated with the current freezing temperatures. There is one feature, however that is very welcome indeed, and long overdue.....

At last!!! Power points on trains in THIS region!!!!
Yes, power points are now at seat so after a day in the office or in my case travelling around I can actually charge up my phone on the way home instead of eeking the last 2% charge out of my battery!

Now what I don't like. The toilets haven't been replaced so it's the same sardine can loos. The automatic door that opens if someone so much as coughs in the vestibule is the same, instead of smoother quieter, not so sensitive ones being fitted. And the seats are grey. Why is grey the "in" colour these days? Nearly every bus company is going grey in their interiors and now the trains are - has anyone actually seen a grey cow? Grey is the most depressing colour, and if you get on a bus or train after a stressful day grey isn't going to cheer you up one bit. Worth a thought for those planning future refurbs or purchases. However, overall it's a big improvement on the old look so I hope they prove to be popular and durable to today's passenger demands.

Tables look god - just hope they are vandal and grafitti proof
An hour prior to that I was also fortunate enough to get my first pics of the ex Virgin Trains "Pretendolino" set. Using GA 90001 and DVT 82105, as well as a GA liveried buffet car the rest of the set is complete, with the GA vinyls now on the coaches.

logo on the Pretendolino coaches
 Unfortunately my pics of this set were hampered by the sun but I can show you the interior which I think looks a lot brighter purely because of the seat colours.

Standard Class on the Pretendolino
First Class isn't bad either!

First Class on the Pretendolino
So that is it - one coach down over a hundred to go. I'm not sure at what rate they are being done but unlike the Ipswich bus refurbishment I'm not going to rush to photo every single one the day they come out! Even I have a better life than that!!!

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