Improving the rail passenger environment for Abellio Greater Anglia

Abellio Greater Anglia is a rail operator with a diverse train fleet, servicing Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk & Suffolk and north London. It also operates the sub-branded Stansted Express.

We’ve supplied Abellio Greater Anglia with labelling and operator logos for many years. When the franchise changed its name and logo we managed the interim identity change.

More recently, we've been project managing the interior refurbishment of some of the core of its older rolling stock. The project involved the full refurbishment of 136 carriages.

Abellio Greater Anglia chose Aura for our proven ability to deliver well-managed train presentation and refurbishment services to the rail sector.

Breath new life into old train interiors

Working on class 317 and 321 rolling stock, the project brief was to transform old and tired carriage interiors into fresh and bright spaces. As many of the trains were over 30 years old, the carriages needed a major interior overhaul.

The train interiors needed to:

  • Better reflect the clean Greater Anglia branding
  • Create a more pleasant passenger environment
  • Provide durable surface coverings that will stand up to the daily rigours of service

The refurbishment required solutions that would last the rest of the operational life of the units and until new rolling stock is introduced.

On top of this, the programme had to be project managed to coordinate a variety of scopes of work and ensure that service disruption was kept to an absolute minimum.

Managing multiple scopes to make modern rail interiors

Following in-depth planning, depot preparation and risk assessments, the team was ready for action.

The first phase of the refresh project started with the full interior strip out of the carriages. Our teams then carried out surface repairs and cleaning of all the internal carriage areas, before giving the carriages a full respray.

Whilst this process happened at the depot, parts that were removed from the carriage were sent for refurbishment off-site. Grab poles, seat backs and frames were all given new finishes using powder coating or spray paint. Seat shells were taken to our paint refurbishment and spraying facility in Stoke-on-Trent.

After the interior respray was complete, new flooring and carpet runners were installed by approved contractor teams. Other fixtures and fittings were then reinstated.

All the dado panels were covered in our hard-wearing printed laminate (AuraFlex™), produced at our main site, alongside the mandatory safety labels and passenger information notices for each train carriage.

The final stages saw the freshly refurbished seat hardware refitted with newly designed seat fabrics. Each unit was then taken through a detailed sign-off process between our project manager and the client.

Dedicated project management ensured the project was a success with all 136 carriages completed to standard.


10+ years