Angel Trains has signed a £6 million contract for the re-traction of 317722 as a trial unit in the hope that the fleet can be developed as an alternative to new trains.
The re-traction work will take place at the same time as a £1 million interior refurbishment of two vehicles of the same unit.
The new traction package, which will be installed at Ilford depot and include regenerative braking, aims to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs.
Work will commence in August/September 2013.
Bombardier’s Propulsion and Controls business unit in Sweden will design the new traction unit, with Bombardier Transportation UK Limited undertaking the integration, installation and testing.
The interiors will be refurbished in a Metro style layout and provide a direct contrast to the 3+2 and 2+2 seating currently in use.
Trials, to test the reaction of passengers, will commence in November 2013 and continue until March 2014. If the new interior gets a positive reaction the full 317 fleet could be refurbished by the end of 2017.