Rolling stock

15.11.18

First Greater Anglia FLIRT bi-mode arrives in Norwich for testing

The first of Greater Anglia’s brand-new trains has now arrived in the region, pulling up to Norwich by a locomotive ahead of a programme of testing around the network.

The four-carriage bi-mode Swiss train will run on regional lines across Greater Anglia has already undergone a series of tests in Europe, including braking, pantographs, noise levels, emissions, operational safety, automatic train protection systems, and testing on special curved tracks against derailment.

It will now be tested on the Greater Anglia network to ensure it passes strict regulations for carrying UK passengers.

A number of tests will take place over the next few months, including testing its pantograph, passenger information system, and automatic selective door opening – for when the train is longer than a station’s platform.

The operator’s drivers, who are participating in classroom-based training including sessions on new simulators, will then start undertaking test runs on routes across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

with class 170 it will be replacing

Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia’s franchising and programmes director, said he is sure people will be impressed when they see the new fleet as it is “very different to our existing trains.”

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking delivery of more of these trains so customers will see them around and about our stations,” he added.

The TOC has bought 38 bi-modes, including 24 four-carriages and 14 three-carriages, from Swiss manufacturer Stadler. They will run between Norwich and Cambridge, Sheringham, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth; Ipswich and Cambridge, Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Peterborough; and Marks Tey and Sudbury.

Ralf Warwel, UK sales director at Stadler, said the arrival of the first FLIRT train on British soil is a “highly symbolic moment, both for the project and for the Stadler business.”

“We’ve made no secret of the fact that we are keen to make headway in the UK market. This order placed two years ago was our first major contract for passenger trains, paving the way for subsequent orders with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Merseytravel, and most recently, for Wales & Borders.”  

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