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The carriages will receive a complete overhaul to allow them to give additional years of high quality service. The trains will feature power sockets in every carriage, WiFi and a catering home base from which an at-seat service of food and drink will be offered. They will be used on the
Edinburgh to Plymouth route to provide much needed extra capacity along the busy corridor through Leeds.
All the carriages will be repainted into CrossCountry's distinctive livery before being introduced to service, with the work scheduled to be completed in time for the December 2008 timetable change. Each of the five HSTs will provide some 550 seats - more than most 747 jumbo jets.
CrossCountry Managing Director Andrew Cooper said: "We're really excited that work is underway on the makeover of these trains which will have them ready for service in December. This is a major step forward to meeting our promise to provide up to 35 percent extra seats and also increase the amount of luggage space on CrossCountry trains."
Wabtec's President and Chief Executive Officer Albert J Neupaver said: "This contract represents an important milestone in the growth of our vehicle refurbishment capabilities at Wabtec Rail."
In service each train will run with two power cars and eight carriages.
CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March 2016. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise plans log on to www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk
STATIONS SERVED: 131
ROUTE MILES: 1,654
WEEKDAY SERVICES: 288
PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,800
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: Penzance to Dundee (701 miles)
CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group which operates transport services in 12 European countries, employs more than 38,000 people and provides more than one billion passenger journeys every year. For more information about the Arriva group visit www.arriva.co.uk
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