£21m refurbishment of east coast train fleet is just the ticket for Leeds passengers

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Virgin Trains today announced a £21m refurbishment programme for its entire east coast rail fleet.

The money will be spent on a complete overhaul of the interiors of the 45 trains that operate on the flagship London-Leeds-Scotland route.

More than 24,000 seats will be replaced while toilets will be upgraded and new carpets and curtains fitted. Leather seats will be installed in First Class carriages.

The work will be carried out at the company’s depots at Bounds Green in London and Craigentinny in Edinburgh.

Virgin says the programme will take the total committed investment in its train fleet past £40m since its east coast franchise began in March.

David Horne, the firm’s managing director for the 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.

“And that’s exactly what we’ve been working hard to deliver, with this multi-million investment in our trains not only one of the biggest investments of its kind ever seen on the east coast route, but also three years ahead of the introduction of new Super Express Trains as part of the Government’s InterCity Express programme.

“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 of the refurbished trains will be pressed into service next month.