Published on: Friday, 22 May 2020
Last updated: Friday, 22 May 2020
Greater Anglia has unveiled the accessible area and features on one of the company’s new electric commuter trains which will go into passenger service between Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Ipswich and London Liverpool Street.
The new trains, made by UK manufacturer Bombardier, will have two wheelchair spaces as well as 48 priority seats on five-carriage trains and three wheelchair spaces and 106 priority seats on ten-carriage trains.
The accessible area, which was designed with advice from accessibility and disabled rail users, includes plug points and USB sockets so wheelchair users can charge their mobile phones, tablets or laptops on the train.
There is also a universally accessible toilet with plenty of room to manoeuvre a wheelchair.
Greater Anglia is getting 111 five and ten-carriage electric trains from Bombardier in total
All of them will be longer than the trains they are replacing with more seats, plug and USB points, better passenger information screens and underfloor heating and air conditioning.
Rebecca Richardson, accessibility manager for Greater Anglia, said: “Our new trains will be much better for our disabled customers, every train has purpose-built spaces for wheelchair users, accessible toilet and more sophisticated passenger information systems.
“We are very grateful to rail users and experts who have given us invaluable advice to make sure our new trains meet the requirements of disabled rail users.
“Their advice ranged from suggestions about where emergency call buttons should be in the accessible toilet, and the colour contrast of the finishes within the train to most suit customers with visual impairments.”
Dominic Lund-Conlon, Rail Delivery Group accessibility and inclusion manager said: “It’s fantastic to see more accessible trains being delivered as train companies work to replace half the fleet new for old.
“With toilets on every train, power sockets and improved accessibility for customers living with sight loss and blindness, the trains will be a huge improvement for customers in the East of England.”
The new Bombardier trains are due to start entering passenger service later this year. Some of them are still being made, while others are on the Greater Anglia network undergoing safety and performance tests.
Work is also progressing making depots and stations ready for the new trains, with work continuing despite the coronavirus lockdown.
Greater Anglia has already replaced every single diesel train with brand new bi-mode trains, powered by diesel and electricity.
The company’s intercity route, between Norwich and London, is also served entirely by brand new electric trains made by Swiss manufacturer, Stadler.