UK: Alstom to Refurbish c2c Class 357 Fleet

Alstom has been awarded an 8.8 million GBP contract from British train operator, c2c to refurbish its Class 357 Electrostar fleet.

This project will involve the painting and repair of 74 four-car units originally constructed at Alstom’s Derby Litchurch Lane facility between 1999 and 2002.

A c2c Class 357
A c2c Class 357

The scope of work on these electric trains will address multiple areas of concern, including the repair of huck bolt covers, corrosion on body ends, side vents, solebars and roofs, followed by a full repaint.

This refurbishment will be carried out at Alstom’s Ilford depot in East London.

Alstom's Ilford site
Alstom’s Ilford depot

The refurbishment work at Ilford will take place over 24 months and will support up to 25 new roles at the site.

Several UK suppliers, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will contribute materials for the project.

Peter Broadley, Service Managing Director UK and Ireland at Alstom said:

“We're thrilled to embark on this new journey with c2c, rejuvenating the Class 357 fleet and enhancing the travel experience for fare-paying passengers. This contract underscores Alstom’s commitment to sustainable mobility and British craftsmanship, exemplified by our dedicated team at the Ilford depot.

“Through this contract, we not only renew the vitality of the Class 357 fleet but also fortify local economies by fostering job creation at our Ilford depot and engaging the wider UK supply chain, including SMEs.”

Owned by Trenitalia, c2c operates rail passenger services on the London, Tilbury, and Southend line in East London and South Essex. In addition to the Electrostars, c2c also operates 12 Class 720 Aventra trains, which were also built by Alstom in Derby.

This refurbishment project builds on the ongoing partnership between Alstom and c2c, which hopes to improve rail travel for passengers while supporting sustainable practices and local economies.

Rob Mullen, Managing Director at c2c said:

“Each year c2c continues to achieve some of the best punctuality and reliability figures of any train operator in the country, and it is no coincidence that our fleet of 357 trains are behind these excellent results.

“As well as maintaining and servicing our trains so they are ready to serve the tens of thousands of customers they carry each day, our dedicated engineering and presentation teams work around the clock to make sure they are always clean and in great condition both inside and out. The forthcoming paint and refurbishment work – carried out by our partners at Alstom – will see all of our 74 Class 357 trains refreshed with the distinctive look and feel of our new Class 720 trains.”

Alstom’s Ilford depot opened in 1949. The site employs approximately 120 people and offers modernisation, refurbishment, vehicle painting, re-branding, and overhaul services.

It features four main workshops capable of C4 (undercarriage) and C6 (body) classified overhauls, a logistics centre, paint facilities, and a ground lathe.

The depot’s service portfolio includes traction system replacements, European Train Control Systems (ETCS) installation, system upgrades, heavy corrosion repairs, structural modifications, asset life extension, steel and aluminium welding, minor collision repairs and vehicle re-wiring.

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