Latest Rail News

12.09.17

Greater Anglia unveils fresh mock-ups of new Bombardier fleet

Greater Anglia has today released new images of what the interior of its new Bombardier-built carriages will look like when they are rolled out for passengers from 2019.

The mock-ups of the new Aventra train were created at Bombardier’s Derby facility and show how the carriage’s configuration, seating and lighting will look when the trains are finished.

They will run between London Liverpool Street and Essex, Herefordshire, Cambridgeshire and Ipswich.

A total of 665 carriages are being built to form 111 new trains, made up of 89 five-carriage trains and 22 ten-carriage trains.

The Aventra trains make up the bulk of the operator’s total fleet overhaul by 2020, which is also benefitting from the introduction of 378 FLIRT carriages to the network.

Passengers will enjoy greater capacity, more modern designs and a more comfortable journey when the trains are fully rolled out onto the network.

Overall, the TOC is investing £1.4bn on 169 new trains, of which £900m is going on the Bombardier fleet, which will begin replacing the existing stock from 2019.

“We’re very excited about our new trains, as they will transform journeys for everyone,” said Mike Kean, Greater Anglia deputy managing director, who wrote about the FLIRT trains in RTM’s latest issue.

“We’ve consulted widely to make sure the trains are suitable for all of our customers and we have received very positive feedback and helpful comments.”

And Alan Fravolini, project director of East Anglia Aventra at the train builder, added: “Bombardier are delighted to have hit this important contract milestone, that will help secure the design phase for East Anglia.”

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Comments

J, Leicester   12/09/2017 at 10:17

I was ready to congratulate Bombardier on finally creating a spacious, comfortable looking interior, until I noticed that half the seats in that first image have no window. It went downhill rapidly from there. Factor in five seats crammed into space which should have four at a maximum and long rows of flipdown seats which will make movement in the vestibule difficult the moment more than one or two people use them, and you've got the future for the cattle on the Liverpool Street route. Don't buy the bluster, or be fooled into believing that the open gangways make the train any more "spacious" - this is an exercise in cramming as many people into a carriage as possible, with a token concession to disabled passengers that will probably be abused to all hell once passengers realise it's the only seating on the train with any consideration for comfort put into it. Yet again, a new rolling stock concept is going to be a massive stepdown in comfort and space from existing, 40 year old coaches. What a joke. Bombardier tend to get a free pass from many in the industry as the last "heavy" rail manufacturer left in the UK, but let's not gloss it over - their trains, internally at least - are appalling. GE users are going to suffer for their corner-cutting for decades to come. Enjoy!

Mark T.   12/09/2017 at 11:14

Really, from Liverpool Street to Herefordshire. It should be an interesting route!

Ampox   12/09/2017 at 11:32

Ever since the age of 3 I've enjoyed looking out of train windows at the scenery. Denying this possibility is a good way to reduce non-peak ridership and clog motorways. Some countries (e.g.CH) even market the scenery to rail passengers! Could some of our heritage railways take over the main lines to make rail travel the enjoyable experience it should be?

Manek Dubash   12/09/2017 at 12:02

J, yes, what a disaster for passenger comfort. I'd be prepared to bet the seats themselves are thinly covered with some durable fabric over 5mm of foam that feels like Yorkshire granite after 15 minutes....

Gabriel Oaks   12/09/2017 at 12:13

"What a disaster for passenger comfort". Totally agree. Neither the DfT or TOCs are interested in passenger comfort; it is all about cramming as many people as possible into as fewer carriages as possible. Although there are windowless seats these will undoubtedly be occupied by those who spend the whole journey looking down at their phone /tablet...... Long distance services have as much comfort as a modern tram; there are no longer a comfortable or enjoyable option.

Robert Hope   12/09/2017 at 12:48

Before people knock Bombardier or any other train manufacturer for that matter it should be considered that they are just satisfying the requirements that the train operator has placed on them. The train operator on the other hand is faced with having to transport ever increasing passenger numbers, pushed out of London by increasing house prices, with a greater level of features but is constrained by the existing infrastructure (platform lengths) and practically how many services they can operate. Therein you face the dilemma of how to transport more people within the constraints of the system. My understanding is that Bombardier has tried to maximise the amount of useable space within the train in line with the requirements of its contract and therefore shouldn’t be criticised for that.

Mark   12/09/2017 at 12:58

J, Leicester. You need to read Robert Hope's response as he is spot on. Bombardier, or any other Train manufacturer, simply respond to the wishes of the TOC. If you are looking for blame, try the people who specify the trains.

Richard   12/09/2017 at 13:57

One thing that will reduce capacity is the maximum length of the trains is 10 carriages. Currently most of these routes can handle 12-cars. Why the reduction in train length?

SCOTTIE   12/09/2017 at 14:12

What "NUMPTY" specified this internal layout ! 3 x 2 seating is not Spacious Airy as the Video claims ! Has no-one noticed or taken into account the spiralling the obesity rate in the UK. This mock-up is a disaster for the travelling public. I thought with a growing population in both senses ! We should be encouraging the UK population to travel by train not be transported like Livestock to the Knackers Yard ! The team that specified this design should all get their P45's Pronto !

Andrew Gwilt   12/09/2017 at 14:23

I quite like Bombardier are currently building the Aventra trains for Elizabeth Line, London Overground, South Western Railway and Greater Anglia. Class 345 will operate on the Elizabeth Line from 2019 with some already in service on TfL Rail between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Class 701 has been classified for Great Western Railway and will replace the Class 455's and Class 456's on the suburban services and Windsor & Reading lines Class 710 will be built for London Overground to operate on the Gospel Oak-Barking line with the extension to Barking Riverside. Liverpool Street-Cheshunt, Enfield Town and Chingford lines. Romford-Upminster line. And Euston-Watford Junction DC Line from 2018. Replacing the Class 172's, Class 315's, Class 317's and Class 378's. Class 720 will be built and will operate on Liverpool Street-Cambridge, Kings Linn, Hertford East, Stansted Airport, Southend Victoria, Clacton-on-Sea, Ipswich, Braintree, Colchester Town and Harwich Town services and branch line services such as Wickford-Southminster, Colchester-Walton-on-the-Naze and Colchester-Colchester Town.

Froth   12/09/2017 at 14:33

It's all doom and gloom on here isn't it! Richard @13:57 - vehicle length for the 720s is 24m. Current stock operating in 12 car formation on WA/GE is nominally 20m. Therefore all are 240m long. Put simply, fewer vestibules equals more room for humans. 3+2 seating is already common on WA and GE routes. (317 and 321) Many elements of train design are contained in the TOC's franchise agreement, certainly number of seats per set is defined. Number 1 complaint from passengers? Guess what? No seat available. What is a TOC to do? PS I am a daily commuter on WA services and am actually looking forward to this fleet arriving! Froth

Despair   12/09/2017 at 15:39

STAND BY....Gwilt Alert!! See above for continuation of repetitive and banal totally bland twaddle. (again!)

Andrew Gwilt   12/09/2017 at 16:13

@Despair. Well tough. Don't like my rubbish statement. Ignore me. Troll bully.

D.W.Roberts   12/09/2017 at 17:23

Scottie et al: It would be illegal to transport livestock in conditions such a prevail in the rush hour. On people can be crammed in so closely.

SWB   12/09/2017 at 19:43

Of course these beauty shots never show passengers in those seats. I can't imagine trying to squeeze down that narrow aisle when people are seated on both sides, especially in winter with everyone wearing heavy coats. And I agree with the previous comments about the pull-down seats. Nobody will be able to pass through there once a couple of them are in use. I'd be interested to know if there are evacuation tests on new interiors like this. Aircraft are not certified until it is shown that a full plane load of passengers can be evacuated in 90 seconds or less with half of the exits closed. Anything similar for trains?

J, Leicester   13/09/2017 at 09:54

Mark, nobody told Bombardier to continue to design coaching stock with tiny windows and excessive bodyshell design. Try as you might, they have previous for creating trains that more closely resemble shipping containers than passenger transport. I should know, as I have to endure Meridians on a daily basis with their dingy, cramped interiors, window alignment lottery and stinky vestibules, and still try to plan my journeys to get a 40-year old HST instead wherever possible, as I know it will give me a more comfortable journey. To know that things have gotten no better - on this viewing, perhaps worse - in the 12 years since their introduction is a damning indictment of Bombardier's failure to address the crippling issues its trains have. Of course GA are going to want to maximise seating - but the design choices ultimately fall upon Bombardier. It's they who decided to aimlessly plonk seats around the carriage with zero thought given to window alignment, they who seem to think that thimble-sized windows are acceptable on intercity rolling stock, they that fail to flag up the clear accessibility issues the fold-down seats and seat spacing (that would leave Kate Moss short of breath walking down the coach) represent. If structural integrity is such a problem that it's an excuse to give passengers a nice view of metal and plastic cladding for their whole journey, why is it that CAF and Stadler are seemingly able to manufacture comfortable stock with good alignment that meets all standards in their FLIRT and Mk 5s currently under construction? Frankly, it says more about Bombardier's cost-cutting and lax engineering than their safety credentials - it simply isn't an excuse for lazy train design in 2017. Go take a look at Stadler's excellent internal design for regional stock for the same franchise and weep for the poor souls that will have to endure Bombardier's pathetic effort on a daily basis instead. Bombardier should be responsible and tell GA to compromise on their seat requirements for the sake of passenger comfort, but they don't care as long as they keep getting orders to churn out sub-par rolling stock. And, as I mentioned, they get a free pass from the public thanks to their misguided belief that they somehow represent the "best of British", wilfully glossing over the consistent production of the worst new rolling stock for the country's railways over a 20-year period rather than see better trains produced elsewhere. Bombardier are the British Leyland of the railways.

King's Lynn   13/09/2017 at 12:43

Well, I don't know, I mean I'm sure it will be fine with the application of future technology... like bi-mode people, who become smaller when they enter the train... or something. No, that design is actually horrible. Who came up with that daft idea to stick that row of flip up seats by the toilet anyway? While it's lovely that you can get a USB socket, the thought of a whole line of people listening to you on the can (who you then have to squeeze past when you leave) is less appealing. Do the people who design these things actually take trains?

Mark   13/09/2017 at 14:24

J, sorry you are wrong. You are making a massive jump into the realms of fantasy if you think Bombardier 'fail to flag up' accessibility issues or try to steer any customer away from making ridiculous design/layout decisions. Believe me, I know for a fact. Another leap, is assuming the Mock-up is representative of the final vehicle and the window deadlights are all huge. I get your misunderstanding here, as the article does not state that this is an amalgamation of different areas, hence the massive deadlights that do not exist and are actually minimised to allow as much visibility as other requirements will allow. It's a nice idea that Bombardier or any other manufacturer could tell the customer that they are wrong in wanting all these seats and refuse to do it, but in the real world it doesn't happen. If the TOC's insist on a layout and it meets all the applicable standards, then a Train manufacturer is bound to build what is contracted. Or they could always take the moral high ground and refuse work. That would go down well I'm sure. If you've ever seen a Technical Specification from a TOC, and understand how the Bid process works, you will understand that Non compliance to the customer requirements swiftly puts you out of the race to win the work.

Andrew JG   14/09/2017 at 03:47

I want Bombardier to manufacture more new trains because they seem to have a very good relationship with our railways in the UK and by building more new trains in the UK.

Barry   14/09/2017 at 13:41

Dream on Andrew JG/Gwilt/Anything, ininferior designs only getting breath from being sole UK manufacturer. Sadly others outshine them!

Andrew JG   14/09/2017 at 13:53

Whatever you say Barry. Moron.

Barry   14/09/2017 at 21:13

@Andrew Gwilt in various guises... So somebody with a differing opinion to yours is a Moron then? Going by the amount of people you irritate with your unadulterated and unwanted rubbish on here, check the mirror first next time! ;)

Andrew JG   14/09/2017 at 22:50

Excuse me @Barry. I don't need you giving all that crap on me. How about you shut up then. How about you shut it right now and don't reply back. D**khead.

Jim   15/09/2017 at 07:35

Andrew Just because someone has an alternative or differing viewpoint to yourself does not give you the right to call them every name under the sun. You do not know these people, nor do they know you so think twice before calling people morons etc. Equally, you should not immediately assume that every comment in reply to you is an insult. Rather than flying off the handle every time, try asking constructive questions based on the comments and engaging in a conversation rather repeating the content of the article to hurling insults. If you are unable to do so, I suggest you do not post further comments unless you have something constructive to say. Before you respond to this, this is not meant negatively or as a personal attack in any way - just a reality check for your own benefit and with every best intention.

Anon   19/09/2017 at 15:22

As this site doesn't seem to have any moderators, wouldn't it be great to post Jim's excellent message at the start of every comments page :) Regular readers will know what I mean...

Tim   21/09/2017 at 09:57

Can not believe they are entertaining the cynical 3x2 seat spread in this day and age. Really thought that was a thing of the past and universally realised how awful it is.

Andrew JG   27/09/2017 at 06:58

@Jim. HOW ABOUT YOU SHUT UP THEN!! Anyways I don’t care what you said. It’s all s**t to me.

Jim   03/10/2017 at 18:26

And my original point is now proven. Never mind.

Victor Meldrew   31/01/2018 at 15:35

Personally I have to agree with the comments made by Robert "Bob to his friends" Hope on 12/09/2017 @ 12:48hrs - a voice of reason. Whilst tending to many lengths of track I ponder such things. I didn't win my prize length awards for nothing. "Before people knock Bombardier or any other train manufacturer for that matter it should be considered that they are just satisfying the requirements that the train operator has placed on them. The train operator on the other hand is faced with having to transport ever increasing passenger numbers, pushed out of London by increasing house prices, with a greater level of features but is constrained by the existing infrastructure (platform lengths) and practically how many services they can operate. Therein you face the dilemma of how to transport more people within the constraints of the system. My understanding is that Bombardier has tried to maximise the amount of useable space within the train in line with the requirements of its contract and therefore shouldn’t be criticised for that. "

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