Siemens has secured a contract worth more than €56m to upgrade the fleet of UK-based train operating company South Western Railway (SWR).

The deal will see the modernisation of SWR’s 172-unit fleet of Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro trains, which currently operate across the company’s network.

The refurbishment work is scheduled to start next month and will be completed in approximately 12 months.

Siemens will carry out the complete interior refurbishment of each train under the agreement, including the installation of Axminster carpets, at-seat power points for mobile devices and real-time information displays.

SWR engineering director Neil Drury said: “We are delighted to have appointed Siemens to carry out the refurbishment of our Class 444 and 450 Desiros.

“This significant investment in our fleet of trains will see a step change for our customers, and investment in local facilities and suppliers.”

“This significant investment in our fleet of trains will see a step change for our customers, and investment in local facilities and suppliers.”

First Class customers will receive additional benefits from the upgrade initiative, including new leather seats and tables that incorporate inductive charging technology.

SWR’s train enhancement programme forms part of the company’s wider investment plan, which seeks to transform and improve the travel experience for customers.

The plan will include the introduction of additional new and as-new train fleets to increase capacity, faster journey times and better connectivity, as well as improvements to facilities at stations.

Siemens Mobility Division Customer Services CEO Johannes Emmelheinz said: “The UK is one of our core markets.

“With the refurbishment of the SWR fleet we will make an important contribution to improving passenger experience through renovations, which will deliver better trains with more seats for travellers across the region.”