Barry Doe, RAIL Fares and Ser­vices ex­pert

Rail (UK) - - News -

I wasn’t look­ing for­ward to see­ing the first re­fur­bished Class 444 De­siro unit - as these are lovely trains with good seats, and re­fur­bish­ment so of­ten means worse seats, less legroom and a more bar­ren en­vi­ron­ment.

I need not have feared. Stan­dard Class seats have a new mo­quette with a leather top for dura­bil­ity, and are as com­fort­able as be­fore. Spac­ing and legroom are un­changed, and the pro­vi­sion of power points at ev­ery bay will be well-re­ceived.

The dis­used buf­fet has been re­moved, as has the guard’s of­fice. This has cre­ated space for more seats.

First Class has un­for­tu­nately changed from 2+1 seat­ing to 2+2, but with new leather seats that are com­fort­able. Four ta­bles of four are in­cluded and (again) legroom pre­served.

The great thing is that am­bi­ence has been pre­served with read­ing lights and new cur­tains. The area has been re­duced in size ow­ing to go­ing 2+2, which has also al­lowed more Stan­dard seats.

The over­all re­sult is an ex­tra 32 seats per unit, tak­ing seat­ing ca­pac­ity of a ten-car train to 732.

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