‘170’ improvement programmes underway
CROSSCOUNTRY HAS a range of fleet improvement programmes underway, the company’s Head of Fleet and Engineering Adrian Hugill has told Modern Railways.
A particular focus is on the company’s Class 170 Turbostar fleet, where in addition to the programme to lengthen six sets by inserting centre vehicles, the fleet is undergoing a C8 overhaul and the operator is supporting a Porterbrook-led programme to drive reliability improvements.
Nos 170518-523 are being lengthened from two to three carriages by the insertion of centre cars redundant from the West Midlands Trains Class 170 fleet (the remainder of which is moving to East Midlands Railway as two-car sets). All the donor vehicles have been removed from the WMT units and have transferred to Arriva TrainCare’s Barton Hill facility in Bristol. Here they are being painted in CrossCountry livery and their interiors modified with new seat covers and repainting of grab rails and handrails.
The first extended unit, No 170623, was moved from Barton Hill to Tyseley depot, where the fleet is based, on 19 December, before entering service on 2 January. The second, No 170620, was dispatched to Tyseley on 16 January and entered service on 30 January. Mr Hugill says there will be a pause before the remaining four lengthened units are completed in March and April, with all six to be in service for the May timetable change. Mr Hugill added that ATC is also carrying out the C8 overhauls on the ‘170s’, and the operator has worked with owner Porterbrook to combine this work to reduce vehicle downtime.