Full speed ahead for Greater Anglia’s Bombardier trains

Published on: Friday, 5 July 2019
Last updated: Wednesday, 30 September 2020

High-speed testing has started on Greater Anglia’s new UK-built commuter trains.

Bombardier is building 111 trains for Greater Anglia which will run into London Liverpool Street from Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

Once the trains are built, they have to go through a series of safety and performance tests before they can go into passenger service.

Testing has begun with the first of the newly built trains being put through its paces at 110mph at the Railway Innovation and Development Centre test tract at Old Dalby.

Although these trains will only ever run at a maximum speed of 100mph on the Greater Anglia network, testing runs go up to 110mph for contingency purposes.

The acceleration and braking systems of the train are being tested, as well as a number of safety systems.

Other tests underway include an extreme sway test, which checks physically how much a train may sway when travelling around curves to check no infrastructure or part of the train is damaged.

Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programme director, said: “It’s good to see one of our new Bombardier trains running at full speed on the test track. I can’t wait to see it doing 100mph in East Anglia.

“These trains are going to transform our customers’ experience of rail travel in this region as we replace old trains with brand new state-of-the-art modern trains.”

Andy Derbyshire, UK Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Transportation said: “This is an exciting time for our Aventra platform and our product for Greater Anglia. We are looking forward to completing the tests and seeing the new trains in passenger service.”

Greater Anglia is replacing every single one of its existing trains with brand new trains, which will all be longer with more seats.

All new trains will have USB and plug points, wifi, air conditioning, improved passenger information systems and accessible seating areas and toilets.

The Bombardier trains will have underfloor heating – a first for UK trains – which will work with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.