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Article from BTNews 6 NOVEMBER 2017

GWR upgrade powers on

Another stage in the biggest fleet upgrade in 40 years on Great Western Railway has arrived with the company’s new Intercity Express Train carrying passengers for the first time.

Offering more seats, higher frequency and faster journeys, the Hitachi-built Class 800 train entered service to form the ten-carriage 06:00 service from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington.

It then formed the 11:45 from London Paddington to Swansea, becoming the first of its type to South Wales. The new trains have up to 24% more seating capacity than the models they replace, increased legroom and luggage space, and more tables. 

GWR will follow the introduction with a new timetable to be introduced once Network Rail’s electrification programme has been completed in early 2019, adding 40% more seats than today and providing quicker, more frequent journeys.

The trains will also benefit from Network Rail’s route modernisation programme, with electrification already delivered to Maidenhead; and improved stations with longer platforms and transformation of signalling and track.

GWR is extending the Intercity Express Train (IET) fleet next year to serve Devon and Cornwall, with a further 36 Class 802s from Hitachi to improve services between London Paddington and Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance.


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