First of Greater Anglia’s new longer electric trains travels through East Anglia
The first of Greater Anglia’s brand new long electric trains made by Swiss-manufacturer, Stadler, arrived in East Anglia today (28/2).
The 12-carriage train is one of ten which will replace the current trains which run on the Stansted Express route between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
This morning it completed the journey from Switzerland to Norwich, where it will be put through a series of rigorous safety and performance tests before it is passed as fit to go into passenger service.
The train is the same model as the new Intercity trains, also being made by Stadler, to replace the current slam-door trains which run between Norwich and London Liverpool Street.
Although they look the same from the outside, the interiors are fitted out differently, with the new Intercity trains including a café-bar and first class seating area which are not available on the new Stansted Express trains.
All of the new Swiss-made electric trains are longer, with more seats, plug and USB sockets and air conditioning. They will have fast free wifi and improved passenger information screens.
Greater Anglia is getting ten new Stansted Express trains and ten new Intercity trains.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia Franchising and Programmes Director, said: “It was an incredible sight to see this long modern-looking train travelling along our line. It’s a glimpse of the near future, when they will be carrying more passengers in comfort and style between Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and London.”
Testing is due to start on the new Stansted Express train later in March. Engineers will initially test its performance at different speeds on different tracks at night between Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester.
They will then test the train at night between Norwich and Diss to make sure that the train is fully compatible with Network Rail’s signalling system.
Martino Celeghini, Stadler technical project manager, said: “This order was a highly significant one for us, and we are delighted that within three years of contract-signing, trains were arriving on British soil.
“Following the start of testing on the bi-modes at the end of last year, we are pleased to begin working on testing and commissioning these electric trains with our UK partners.”
Greater Anglia is replacing every single existing train with brand new trains, including 58 made by Stadler and 111 made by Bombardier in Derby.
People may have already spotted four of Greater Anglia’s new bi-mode trains undergoing testing around the network. Powered by diesel and electricity, they will be replacing Greater Anglia’s existing diesel trains.
New trains will start to come into service from the middle of this year as part of a two-year roll out.