Maiden voyage to London for first of Greater Anglia’s brand new electric commuter trains

Published on: Monday, 30 March 2020
Last updated: Monday, 30 March 2020

The first of Greater Anglia’s new electric trains which will replace the company’s old trains used on lines into London from Essex, Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Ipswich has completed its maiden voyage to Liverpool Street.

bombadier train at Liverpool Street station

Made by British manufacturer Bombardier, the train successfully completed a test run into Liverpool Street recently. Technicians were checking how the new train interacts with the signalling system.

It is one of a series of “network tests” due to take place over coming weeks, to check the train’s compatibility with the Greater Anglia network.

It will have to travel over all of the electrified network at least twice in various different conditions.

As part of this testing, the train has also been on West Anglia line up to Cambridge and Kings Lynn.

On the Great Eastern Main Line, the train has been to Norwich, although the 111 trains Greater Anglia is getting from Bombardier will mainly be used south of Norwich.

Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: “We are continuing with our new trains programme during the coronavirus outbreak because we still need to replace all of our old trains.

bombadier train at Kings Lynn station

“The new trains have much better accessibility features than our existing trains, as well as all the mod cons that 21st rail passengers expect – and more seats.

“We are very grateful to the drivers, engineers, technicians, depot staff, control staff, the project team and our colleagues in other railway organisations who are coming to work everyday in these worrying times to carry out this important work.

“We are following all Government guidelines to keep them safe during the coronavirus outbreak while they are at work.”

The new trains are all longer with more seats, plug and USB sockets, air conditioning, under floor heating in addition to air conditioning and improved passenger information screens.

They are greener too: powered by electricity, 40% lighter than previous trains and feature regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the electrical supply network rather than waste the energy, through heat, as in conventional systems.

bombadier train at Norwich station

New trains have to undergo a series of performance and safety tests before they can come into passenger service, starting later this year.

Greater Anglia staff including drivers and station staff also need to be trained to work with the new trains.

The new electric trains are all five or ten carriages – with each carriage longer than carriages on existing trains. The five carriage trains have 544 seats and the ten-carriage trains have 1,145 seats.