UK-based train operating company South Western Railway (SWR) has introduced the first refurbished and reconfigured Class 444 train into passenger service.

The complete interior reconfiguration of Desiro fleet is part of SWR’s £50m upgrade programme to improve the travel experience of passengers.

All trains will feature more seats, enhanced Wi-Fi, inductive charging tables and at-seat power facilities.

The project is being carried out by the trains’ manufacturer Siemens Mobility, under a €56m contract awarded by SWR last year.

Siemens Mobility project director Richard Carrington said: “The passengers will benefit from full interior refurbishment of all trains, including more seats, at-seat power points for mobile devices, real-time information displays and new carpets.

“The passengers will benefit from full interior refurbishment of all trains.”

“Additional benefits for First Class customers include leather seats and tables incorporating innovative inductive charging.”

Overall, SWR has invested £110m to refurbish its five fleets by the end of 2020, including its Desiro vehicles.

SWR engineering director Neil Drury said: “Our customers have been enjoying the benefits of refurbished accommodation on our Class 450 trains since December, and this train marks the start of phase two of the programme which offers additional seats as well.

“When the refurbishment programme completes, all 172 of our Desiro class trains will have new, high-quality interiors, and will be providing almost 5,000 much needed additional seats in standard class.”

The first of itsacquired fleet of 18 Class 442 trains is currently being refurbished and is expected to start passenger services next month on the Portsmouth-Waterloo route.