Alstom secures a £8.8 million contract from c2c for paint and repair of Class 357 fleet

  • Contract will see the refresh of 74 four–car Electrostar trains
  • Alstom, the leading train services provider in the UK and Ireland, will carry out the work at their Ilford depot in east London

15 May 2024 – Alstom, global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has signed a £8.8 million (€10.3 million) contract with passenger operator c2c for the paint and repair of its Class 357 Electrostar fleet.

The contract will involve 74 four-car units, initially built at Alstom’s Derby Litchurch Lane site between 1999 and 2002, and currently leased from Angel Trains and Porterbrook.

The scope of work on the electric trains includes the repair of huck bolt covers, body end corrosion, side vent corrosion, sole bar corrosion, roof corrosion and the repaint of all the units. This work will be undertaken at Alstom’s Ilford depot over a 24-month period. Ilford has a long-established history in the execution of heavy maintenance and modernisation and refurbishment programmes, employing approximately 120 people.

This new contract will support up to 25 additional roles at the Ilford site. A number of UK suppliers – including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – will also be involved in providing the materials for this project, all of which will adhere to Alstom’s ethical and sustainability requirements. For example, water-based paint solutions will be applied, prioritising safety for workers, passengers and the environment.

“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,” said Peter Broadley, Service Managing Director UK and Ireland at Alstom.

He added: “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.”

Alstom’s Ilford depot opened in 1949 as an AC electric multiple unit (EMU) depot. Today, the site’s capabilities include modernisation, refurbishment, vehicle painting, re-branding and overhaul. The depot also provides off-site labour deployment services to customers and other Alstom sites. The site has four main workshops with a capability for C4 (undercarriage) and C6 (body) classified overhauls, a logistics centre, paint facilities, and a ground lathe.

Ilford’s combined modernisation, refurbishment and fleet maintenance capabilities include traction system replacement, European Train Control Systems (ETCS) installation, system upgrades, heavy corrosion repairs, structural modifications and asset life extension, steel and aluminium welding capability, minor collision repairs, and vehicle re-wiring.

Alstom is the market leader in rail services, supporting customers over the entire asset lifecycle with the broadest portfolio of services solutions. Alstom’s FlexCare Modernise portfolio enhances and extends the lifetime of rolling stock with Life, Smart and Green modernisation solutions. Alstom addresses a wide range of customer needs including minimising lifecycle costs, reducing environmental impact, and enhancing passenger comfort and train performance. Alstom has modernised over 40,000 vehicles around the world.

“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,” said Rob Mullen, Managing Director at c2c.

He added: “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.

“We are excited at the prospect of this work starting and can’t wait to get the refreshed trains back out on our route.”

Owned by Trenitalia, c2c operate rail passenger services on the London, Tilbury, and Southend line – also known as Essex Thameside – in east London and south Essex. Alongside the Electrostars, they also operate 12 Class 720 Aventra trains, which were also built by Alstom in Derby.

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