The £21 million investment will be spent on the complete refurbishment of the train’s interiors. A total of 401 carriages will be overhauled with 24,123 seats replaced along with refurbished toilets, new carpets and curtains. Leather seats will be fitted in First Class.
The work will be carried out at the company’s Bounds Green depot in London and its Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh, where it will also fit 35 new engines to its diesel High Speed Train fleet as part of a £16 million contract with engine manufacturer MTU. Further work to the exterior of the fleet will take the total investment to more than £40m.
David Horne, managing director, Virgin Trains on the east coast route, said: "Since Virgin started running this railway, the bar has been raised by customers who rightly demand a high quality customer experience, something which they would expect from a Virgin business, as well as getting great value for money. We’re investing now so our customers can benefit from new seats and a great new on-board environment before we get a new fleet of 65 trains from 2018."
The first fully refurbished train will enter service on 14 December when Virgin launches its new service between Sunderland and London.