Training begins for the engineers who will look after Greater Anglia’s brand new trains

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

An intensive period of training has begun for some of the engineers who will be looking after East Anglia’s brand-new trains when they arrive in the UK later this year.

Groups of Greater Anglia Systems Technicians - who were selected by Stadler for their skills and expertise – are flying out to the factory in Switzerland to learn all about the maintenance of the region’s new fleet now that some of the trains are fully assembled.

They will spend six months in Europe, travelling to Stadler's bases and suppliers in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Romania, to learn different aspects of Stadler train engineering.

During their training, they will get to know the new trains inside-out, learning all about their inner workings, different maintenance requirements, new systems, on board electronics and software, electrical and mechanical assembly and how to carry out tests, identify faults and carry out repairs.

Later they will be involved in testing them throughout Europe - both for different conditions, such as night-time, daytime, and wet and hot weather and for specific technical attributes, such as testing brakes, safety systems and noise levels - before they arrive for further testing and commissioning in the UK later this year.

Uriah James, one of the selected engineers, commented, “I’m excited about working on this brand-new fleet, which will be based at our refurbished depot in Norwich, and taking advantage of its advanced technology to achieve one of the most reliable fleets in the UK.”

Stadler is providing a total of 58 trains for Greater Anglia, including 38 “bi-mode” trains that can switch between electricity and diesel power, which will run on rural routes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

The company is also producing ten electric intercity trains and ten electric Stansted Express trains.

Meanwhile Greater Anglia continues to invest in upgrades and reliability improvements for its existing trains to keep on improving services before the arrival of the new trains.

Mike Kean, Greater Anglia Director of Franchising and Programmes, said: “It’s not that long now until the first new train enters the UK for testing and commissioning so, as our engineers undertake their specialist training and our Norwich Crown Point Depot is prepared to receive the new trains, we are really gearing up to transform rail travel for people in East Anglia.”

Hein van der Schoot, managing director of Stadler Rail Service for the UK and Netherlands, said: “It’s the first time that Stadler has run this type of training for a UK client, and we are right behind it. It’s relatively long and pretty intense, but having locally trained people who are already experts on servicing and maintaining the new fleet, as soon as it comes in, benefits everybody in the long run.”

Greater Anglia is investing £1.4 billion in replacing every single train with brand new trains, which will all have more seats, plug and USB sockets, fast free wifi, air conditioning and disabled toilets.