Passengers in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have welcomed Greater Anglia’s first state-of-the-art electric commuter trains, which have recently entered passenger service on two new routes.
Prior to making several trips between Cambridge, Cambridge North and London Liverpool Street, the 5.58 from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge was operated by a new train on Wednesday 25th August.
Another train also went into passenger service on the Hertford East branch line between London Liverpool Street and Hertford East, after early morning journeys from Cambridge to Stratford and between Broxbourne and Liverpool Street.
The journeys mark the first time Greater Anglia’s new Alstom – previously Bombardier – electric commuter trains have been in passenger service on the company’s West Anglie routes.
There are 25 service five-carriage Bombardier commuter trains currently available for passenger service, whilst 133 are set to join the company’s body.
This includes back-up trains for maintenance and driver training, with more due to enter the Greater Anglia network over the coming months.
The new five-carriage Class 720 Aventra Alstom trains are longer, with extra seats compared to previous trains, and can also be used as five carriage trains, or paired together to form ten-carriages.
There are USB and plug points on hand, with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, improved accessibility features – such as accessible toilets on every train -better passenger information screens and dedicated cycle passes.
The trains are the first to introduce underfloor heating, which works with an overhead heating and ventilation system, improving passenger comfort whilst increasing foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.
Additionally, they feature regenerative braking which prevents wasting energy through heat – typically the case for conventional systems - by delivering energy back into the electrical supply network.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia Client and Programme Director said, “we’re delighted that customers on our West Anglia route can now enjoy these new trains, especially coming at a time when more people are being encouraged to return to the office.”
Piers Wood, Alstom Customer Director, Rolling Stock, said “it’s great news that these state-of-the-art trains are now in service on the West Anglia route."
He added, "we have worked closely with Greater Anglia to ensure these British-built trains can add vital capacity as passengers return to rail.”
New trains are already operating on: Norwich–London intercity route, Stansted Airport–London Stansted Express, Norwich–Cambridge/Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham, Ipswich–Cambridge, Peterborough, Felixstowe and Lowestoft, and on the Marks Tey–Sudbury route.
Greater Anglia is replacing every single train on its network with brand new trains.