Work is under way to move first class accommodation on a number of Southeastern’s trains to create hundreds more standard class seats for passengers.
The company’s Class 375 trains, which account for one third of their rolling stock, are currently already undergoing a major upgrade.
The same trains are getting their first class compartments, currently situated at the front and rear of each train, moved to a section in one of the middle carriages.
Southeastern said the first train is due back in service at the end of October and the work, which forms part of a multi-million pound maintenance and improvement scheme, came about due to passenger feedback as well as looking at passenger loadings and ticket sales.
Passengers will be able to locate first class seats once they are moved to the middle of the train as the outside windows will have a distinctive yellow surround, with the words First Class underneath as well as the number 1.
In total, 735 extra standard class seats will be provided by the work – eight per four-car train, the firm added.
The work comes about as Southeastern’s Class 375 trains are part way through a midlife refresh.
These train types, also called Electrostars, account for around one third of all Southeastern’s trains.
Southeastern said this refresh is making carriages lighter, brighter and more comfortable for passengers and includes a complete re-spray outside and a repaint internally of all 112 trains.
New carpets and lino is being laid, replacement windows put in place where needed, and all seats are being removed from carriages and given a deep dry-clean and new seat bases.
The trains are also receiving a new exterior livery of deep blue and light blue doors, replacing the usual white with yellow doors passengers are used to seeing.
Mark Johnson, engineering director at Southeastern, said: “We have already started a major refit of these trains and moving the first class seating at this time allows us to find much needed extra capacity across our fleet.
“This is important as every seat counts and we are doing all within our power to increase capacity.”
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