Makeover for east coast trains

Virgins new train Flying Scotsman was welcomed into Edinburgh station by Piper Steven Dewer last month

Virgins new train Flying Scotsman was welcomed into Edinburgh station by Piper Steven Dewer last month

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Virgin Trains is spending £21 million refurbishing its 45 east coast trains.

This brings the company’s investment in improving its train fleet to more than £40 million since it launched its east coast franchise in March, as part of its plans to invest £140 million over eight years.

The £21 million investment will be spent on the complete refurbishment of the train’s interiors. A total of 401 carriages will be overhauled with 24,123 seats replaced along with refurbished toilets, new carpets and curtains. Leather seats will be fitted in First Class.

The work will be carried out in London and Edinburgh, where it will also fit 35 new engines to its diesel high speed train fleet as part of a £16 million contract with engine manufacturer MTU. Further work to the exterior of the fleet takes the total investment to more than £40 million.

David Horne, managing director of Virgin Trains on the east coast route, said: “Since Virgin started running this railway, the bar has been raised by customers who rightly demand a high quality customer experience, something which they would expect from a Virgin business, as well as getting great value for money.

“And that’s exactly what we’ve been working hard to deliver, with this multi million investment in our trains not only one of the biggest investments of its kind ever seen on the east coast route, but also three years ahead of the introduction of new Super Express Trains as part of the Government’s InterCity Express programme.

“We’re investing now so our customers can benefit from new seats and a great new on-board environment before we get a new fleet of 65 trains from 2018.”

The first fully refurbished train will enter service on December 14, when Virgin launches its new service between Sunderland and London.