Published on: Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Above: A Class 720 train at Southend Victoria (Archive photo) Credit: Greater Anglia
The roll out of Greater Anglia’s new trains is continuing in 2022, with the first one to enter passenger service this year going into operation on the Southend Victoria – London line, as the train operator continues the programme to replace its entire fleet with brand new trains, giving further improvements in accessibility.
The introduction of the latest UK-built electric commuter train brings the total number of new trains in the Greater Anglia fleet to 103.
New trains are now running on every route on the Greater Anglia network apart from between Ely and Kings Lynn, where they will be introduced later this year.
The new trains are longer with more seats, plug and USB sockets at every seat, free fast wifi and climate controlled air conditioning.
They also have improved accessibility features on every train, such as accessible toilets, wheelchair areas, passenger information systems, call for aid buttons and priority seating – these seats are available to anyone but those who can stand are encouraged to offer them to others around them who may have a non-visible impairment, be pregnant or less able to stand.
The arrival of more new trains means that more of the train operator’s old trains have been retired and that, as a result, Greater Anglia’s entire fleet now meets modern accessibility standards.
New trains with low floors and retractable steps which bridge the gap between the train and platform run on the majority of Greater Anglia’s regional, intercity, and Stansted Express services.
Greater Anglia’s other new trains, which have two wheelchair spaces and one accessible toilet per five carriage train, so four wheelchair spaces and two accessible toilets when running as ten carriages, operate on routes in Essex and on West Anglia services.
Martin Beable, Greater Anglia’s Engineering Director, said, “With the removal of old trains from service, and more brand-new trains entering service regularly, our transformation of the railway in East Anglia has reached another positive milestone.
“This will make it much easier for people to travel with confidence on our network in future.”
Below: Accessible area on a Stadler Intercity train Credit: Greater Anglia