Rail franchises operators & contracts

15.01.20

Greater Anglia’s new commuter trains have arrived in Essex

The new Bombardier electric trains have now arrived and are ready to commence a series of safety and performance tests in Essex, Cambridgeshire, Herefordshire and Suffolk.

Designed and built at Bombardier’s Derby factory, the five-carriage electric train, was delivered to Greater Anglia’s Ilford depot on Tuesday (Jan 14.)

Seven drivers have taken one of the new trains for a test drive at Network Rail’s national test facility in Leicestershire, giving them a chance to look at all of the hi-tech features in the driver’s cab, so they can start testing them on the Greater Anglia network.  

Bombardier has now built around a third of the carriages which will form the new 111 electric train fleet, due to run on commuter lines to Liverpool Street from Essex, Ipswich, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

The new trains have more seats, plug and USB sockets, air conditioning, better passenger information screens and improved accessibility features.

The train’s advanced features include underfloor heating, real time passenger information and improved passenger door anti-drag safety features previously seen only on underground trains.

The new trains are also better for the environment, powered by electricity, 40% lighter than previous trains and feature regenerative braking which sends energy back in to the electrical supply network rather than waste the energy, through heat, as in conventional systems.

Greater Anglia franchise and programme director, Ian McConnell, said: “It’s fantastic to have one of these new Bombardier trains now on our patch.

“Our test drivers have been very impressed with them. They said it was like going from a bottom of the range small car to a Rolls Royce compared to driving our old trains.

“We’re confident our customers will be equally pleased with the quality of the new trains, as they should greatly improve their journeys with us.

“The drivers will now spend many hours in the cab of the new trains as we test how the trains interact with the overhead wires, signals and points, their performance at different speeds, double-checking them at platforms in stations across the network to make sure new signage is in the right place.”

Kevin Tribley, CEO of Angel Trains, which is procuring and financing the 665 Bombardier carriages said: “The modernisation of Greater Anglia’s network is a major boost to the future of the UK rail industry and the communities this network serves. We are delighted that, through the supply of 665 Class 720 Aventra vehicles, Angel Trains is investing in improved service and experience for passengers in the region.”

Image: Greater Anglia 

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