Features include air conditioning and new heating; Sealed windows; LED lighting; Leather seats and Power sockets in 1st Class; Refurbished standard toilet; New wheelchair accessible toilet.
Eversholt has effectively split the four carriage train into two to evaluate different seating arrangements. Two carriages have the conventional 3+2 seating that we currently have and is designed for longer journeys.
These seats have been raised slightly when compared to the current model which will please some but they are still quite cramped when 3 people try to sit together. To provide more space for the seats reserved for those less able, the seats facing each other in the middle of the carriage are very close together. So much so, passengers would have to sit with their legs intertwined!
|Pic: Stuart Wilks|
The other two carriages have been fitted out with 2+2 seating.
This seating arrangement is intended for the Metro routes and as such has fewer seats. The thinking being that passengers can stand on shorter journeys. These seat's have a higher back and are much firmer. Concerns have been raised as to the consequences of being in an impact when in one of these seats. Without seat belts, the only way to go would be to smash into the seat in front. (Having said that, all the seats have been thoroughly crash tested.)
With fewer seats in this configuration, there is much more standing room with extra space around the exits. However, apart from the handles on the seats as visible above, there are no grab handles, on the ceiling for example, to hold onto. The added space next to the exists incorporates bench type 'seats' to lean against.
|Pic: Stuart Wilks|
There are new leather seats in 1st Class where there are also power points fitted.
The current model has 2 toilets and one of these has been removed with the remaining one having a complete refurbishment. In addition however, there is now a wheelchair friendly toilet too.
This train will be in service throughout 2014 and will be used on the Great Eastern Mainline to Ipswich together with the Harwich, Southend, Braintree and Clacton / Walton branch lines. Eversholt and GA will be looking for comments from passengers and feedback can be provided at either www.eversholtrail-innovations.co.uk or www.greateranglia.co.uk/class321