Greater Anglia recycles train components to help the environment

Published on: Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Last updated: Tuesday, 27 April 2021

One of Greater Anglia Class 317 trains

Greater Anglia is recycling and reusing components from some of its old trains which are being sent for scrap as they are replaced by brand new state-of-the-art trains.

The potential for this green approach to train maintenance was spotted by Greater Anglia’s engineering team at Ilford depot during the introduction programme for the company’s new electric Alstom commuter trains.

Engineers noticed an opportunity to recycle and reuse some major components which had long lead times and were high value from the outgoing Class 317 fleet – used on the Cambridge to London Liverpool Street and Hertford East branch line.

Components such as traction motors, which can cost tens of thousands of pounds, have been reused and fitted to Greater Anglia’s other Class 317 trains on the West Anglia route, saving time, money and benefitting the environment.

In total 36 traction motors have been repurposed, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds, and ensuring the most efficient operation of these older trains for the remainder of their life with Greater Anglia.

Martin Beable, Greater Anglia Engineering Director, said: "Our engineering team worked with the companies from which we lease the trains to see how we could recycle components. Several factors were considered including the number of miles and the age of the traction motors.

"This has been a huge team effort and the teams involved have put in a lot of hard work. It’s great that we’ve been able to recycle components and save money at the same time."

Matthew Prosser, Asset Management Director at Angel Trains, commented: "We are delighted to support our industry partner Greater Anglia on this project by providing technical and analytical assistance on recycling and repurposing these components. Our ‘cradle to grave’ approach to asset management informs everything that we do as a business, and we are pleased that this initiative has delivered that for our customer by giving these Class 317 trains a new lease of life."

Greater Anglia is replacing every single train on the network with brand new longer trains with more seats, USB and plug sockets, air conditioning, better accessibility features, cycle spaces and improved passenger information screens.

New trains will start to be introduced on the West Anglia route later this year. The full introduction of new trains on Greater Anglia’s services is due to be completed in Summer 2022.