Passengers on the Cross City line in the West Midlands (Lichfield – Birmingham – Redditch/Bromsgrove) are starting to experience an improvement in their on-train comfort as the first of West Midlands Trains’ Class 323 units re-enters service after a substantial refit.
West Midlands Trains and fleet owner Porterbrook approached Jacobs to oversee the design of a fresh new look for the fleet. This included the provision of fully accessible toilets, passenger information displays and a modified seating arrangement to improve access to the priority seating, an area where space was quite limited.
Jacobs brought Transcal Engineering into the project to supply the universal access toilet modules and TrainFX for the passenger information system. New seats backs and bases were procured from Diamond Seating and covered with new seat moquette manufactured by Camira.
The first revised train, 323217, has now been rolled out of Wolverton Works, where staff employed by Gemini Rail Services UK have carried out the upgrade, project managed by Porterbrook and West Midlands Trains. The rest of the fleet will undergo the same refurbishment, which will be complete by the end of 2020.
The improvements will help make travelling on the route easier for those requiring accessible facilities, bringing the trains’ interiors up to modern standards, after having operated the route for the last 25 years.