Rolling stock

04.05.18

First Greater Anglia train kicks off testing in Switzerland

The first of Greater Anglia’s new bi-mode trains is now being tested in Switzerland as the rest of its brand-new intercity and Stansted Express trains undergo assembly in a factory nearby.

Stadler is building 58 trains for Greater Anglia, 38 of which are bi-mode and can therefore switch between electric and diesel power. They are set to run on rural routes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

The first four-carriage bi-mode train is now being tested at Stadler’s commissioning centre in Erlen. The body of the train has now been connected to the bogies, the driver’s cab is mounted, and the diesel engines have been fitted.

Although the train is yet to be fitted with seats, wi-fi, toilets, and bicycle racks, it is possible to drive it and carry out safety and performance tests on it to make sure all standards are met.

Meanwhile, Greater Anglia trans are in various stages of production at Stadler’s factory in Bussnang, Switzerland.

The company is building 24 four-carriage and 14 three-carriage bi-mode trains, which from next year will run between Norwich and Sheringham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Cambridge; Ipswich and Felixstowe Lowestoft, Cambridge and Peterborough; and Marks Tey and Sudbury.

The company is also producing 10 electric intercity trains and 10 electric Stansted Express trains.

The trains will help save energy as their diesel engines meet the latest standards for emissions and, when running on electric lines, can create energy when braking that is then put back into the overhead wires.

Even when running in diesel mode, the engines generate electricity for the motors, thus enabling the train to accelerate more powerfully and smoothly.

Mike Kean, Greater Anglia director of franchising and programmes, said: “Seeing the first of our bi-mode trains on the tracks in Switzerland, it’s easy to imagine it speeding along our rural lines in East Anglia.

“These modern trains really are going to transform rail travel in East Anglia – with each one fitted with more seats, plug and USB points, air conditioning and fast free wi-fi.”

Ralf Warwel, marketing director of Stadler for UK, added that the “powerful and comfortable” trains share many similar design and operational concepts, as well as identical components, thus cutting down on training time for drivers and maintenance staff.

“The cab desk has a spacious and open design and allows for future upgrades of signalling systems, such as digital signalling,” Warwel continued.

“The bi-mode units are equipped with modern diesel engines which will not be used when operating on electrified lines, thereby reducing emissions and improving travel comfort.”

The new Stadler trains are financed by Rock Rail East Anglia, a joint venture between Rock Rail, Aberdeen Standard Investments and GLIL Infrastructure, and will be leased to Greater Anglia.

The operator’s deputy managing director, Mike Kean, wrote about the new trains for RTM’s August/September edition last year.

See Mike Kean talk us throgh the new trains below:

 

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