Newly refurbished, more energy efficient train about to enter passenger service
Commuters in Essex and Suffolk are benefiting from smarter, more comfortable and greener trains as Greater Anglia’s newly refurbished Class 321 trains enter passenger service.
The third train to be refurbished is now back from works and, once engineers at Ilford Depot have made their final checks, will soon enter passenger service.
It is the first to feature a new ‘regenerative braking’ system which will cut down energy consumption and improve reliability.
The newly refurbished train uses AC motors, instead of DC ones, and this not only makes them more reliable but means that when the train brakes the motor is converted into a generator, as its kinetic energy is turned into chemical energy which can be stored in a battery and later used to power the train.
This innovation is expected to cut the train’s energy use by 18% energy due to the regenerative braking, plus a further 8% due to the more efficient AC drive motor (even though the train uses more power than an unrefurbished Class 321).
The newly refurbished train will also greatly improve passenger comfort through the installation of brand new seating, air-conditioning, heating systems, more spacious vestibules for improved boarding and alighting, better lighting, more space for wheelchairs, buggies, bicycles and luggage, as well as new flooring, ceiling panels and windows.
The train is also fitted with free Wi-Fi throughout and power sockets to enable passenger to charge mobile phone and laptops during their journeys.
Greater Anglia’s Managing Director Jamie Burles said: “This upgrade is one of a series of improvements Greater Anglia is introducing over the next three years, and will transform our passengers’ experience and also allow us to reduce our carbon footprint. These enhancements will then be followed by the transformation programme to replace our entire train fleet with brand new, state of the art trains during 2019/20.”