South Western Railway’s first fully refurbished and reconfigured Class 444 train has entered passenger service, offering additional seating capacity and high-quality improvements to passenger accommodation.

The refurbishment and reconfiguration of the train is part of SWR’s £50m Desiro interior upgrade programme. The project is being delivered by the trains’ manufacturer, Siemens Mobility Limited and is designed to increase much needed seating capacity in standard class, and bring the interior accommodation up to date with some state-of-the-art features including enhanced Wi-Fi;  inductive charging tables and at-seat power; and a full refurbishment of passenger accommodation using quality materials.

Neil Drury, SWR’s Engineering Director said:
“Our customers have been enjoying the benefits of refurbished accommodation on our Class 450 trains since December, and this train marks the start of phase two of the programme which offers additional seats as well.

“When the refurbishment programme completes, all 172 of our Desiro class trains will have new, high-quality interiors, and will be providing almost 5,000 much needed additional seats in standard class.”

Richard Carrington, Project Director, Siemens Mobility said:
“Siemens Mobility is proud to refurbish the 172-strong Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro fleet for South Western Railway. The passengers will benefit from full interior refurbishment of all trains; including, more seats, at seat power points for mobile devices and real-time information displays and new carpets. Additional benefits for First Class customers include new leather seats and new tables incorporating innovative inductive charging.”

The refurbishment of the Desiro fleet is part of a £110m programme to refurbish five fleets in all by the end of 2020, equating to over 900 carriages. Currently, the first of SWR’s newly acquired fleet of 18 Class 442 trains is being refurbished before entering passenger service this December on the Portsmouth to Waterloo route.