Abellio Greater Anglia hires additional locomotives and carriages
Class 68 diesel-powered set will cover for damaged Class 170 diesel unit on regional routes
Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA) is hiring an additional train to give passengers on its regional routes the best possible service over the months ahead - including the busy summer season on its local lines. The train will operate with two Class 68 diesel locomotives and three Mk2 carriages on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Norwich to Lowestoft routes, to cover for a damaged Class 170 unit diesel unit - which was involved in an incident in April, which has necessitated extensive and lengthy repairs.
The additional train is scheduled to operate on Mondays to Fridays from Monday 11 July to Friday 30 September on the following scheduled services:
06.52 Norwich to Great Yarmouth
07.30 Great Yarmouth to Norwich
08.09 Norwich to Great Yarmouth
08.46 Great Yarmouth to Norwich
10.05 Norwich to Lowestoft
10.57 Lowestoft to Norwich
16.40 Norwich to Great Yarmouth
17.18 Great Yarmouth to Norwich
18.06 Norwich to Great Yarmouth
18.47 Great Yarmouth to Norwich
20.40 Norwich to Great Yarmouth
21.18 Great Yarmouth to Norwich
22.05 Norwich to Lowestoft
Although the train operator has been able to cover for the damaged diesel unit in the short term, that arrangement was not practical or sustainable in the medium term. AGA has therefore come to an agreement with Direct Rail Services to hire the additional train until 30 September. It will help maintain performance and customer standards on the operator's regional routes by improving punctuality and reliability and protecting seating capacity, enabling the planned service to be operated across all of AGA's regional routes on a consistent basis, as well as providing extra seats over the busy summer period.
The Class 68 locomotives are brand new, powerful diesel locomotives. It is the first time they have been used on regular passenger services in East Anglia so, as well as performing their core purpose of protecting service delivery standards for customers, they are likely to prove popular with rail enthusiasts. Generating 3,800 horsepower they are some of the most powerful diesel locomotives ever used on the UK rail network.
This extra train operates in addition to the Class 37-powered train also used on some of its Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Norwich to Lowestoft services.
AGA is still looking at options for ongoing cover from October onwards until the Class 170 diesel unit is repaired and returned to service. It will announce those further plans once they are agreed.