The first of nine upgraded class 156 trains has re-entered service on the East Suffolk Line. The two-car train is the first to undergo refurbishment as part of a £3 million programme undertaken by train operator Greater Anglia.
Train number 156402 was firstly deep cleaned; the two-car set was then fitted with brand new interior grey-coloured wall and ceiling panels. The new interior is lighted by state-of-the-art LED tubes which replace the old fluorescent fittings; the LEDs provide a brighter whiter light.
The upgrade also included the installation of an automated passenger information system which gives visual announcements such as next arrival station, etc. This system is similar to those found on the Class 170 three-car sets.
New seat covers were applied along with new table tops and new carpeting. The seating layout was modified to provide priority seating, fold-up seating, wheelchair spaces with call-for-aid buttons, and a wheelchair accessible universal toilet. New external door sounders were fitted which provide an audible warning when doors are about to close.
The upgrade programme began in October with the final class 156 train expected back in service by November 2014.
East Suffolk Line services are provided by class 170 three-car units, class 156 two-car sets, and class 153 one-car trains.