Alstom delivers 17 upgraded Class 323s to Arriva NorthAlstom has finished modernising 17 Class 323 trains operated by Arriva North, all of which run on Manchester’s electrified network.
The company, which won the contract to upgrade the fleet’s power and control electronics to make them more environmentally efficient in 2014, carried out the work at its specialist train care centre in Longsight, Manchester. The materials and parts needed for the work were assembled at its Preston site.
A team of 25 engineers and managers from the north west, including two apprentices, were responsible for working on the project, and three Alstom graduates completed their training placements at Preston while the work was taking place.
As part of the £11m contract with train leasing company Porterbrook, Alstom will now upgrade the remaining 26 Class 323 EMUs operated by London Midland. The entire contract is expected to be finished by January next year.
Mike Hulme, the managing director for trains and modernisation at Alstom UK, said: “The upgraded Class 323s are a vast improvement on the original. They are now more reliable and environmentally more acceptable, making them fit for purpose for the foreseeable future.”
“We have an experienced team in Preston and Manchester, who have worked hard to make sure that this work is delivered on time and on budget. We now look forward to starting the process again for London Midland’s Class 323 fleet.”
The 43-train Class 323 fleet was built between 1993 and 1995 by Hunslet in Leeds, with each unit comprising of three carriages.
It is not the first time Alstom set out to overhaul this fleet, having already revamped the trains and exchanged over 2,000 components back in 2013, when it was operated by Northern Rail.
The company is also set to continue its firm presence in the north through a recent €40m contract with TransPennine Express to maintain the operator’s 25 new trains after they enter service in 2019.