Operator set to promote train travel as part of 'green recovery'

The first Aventra train waits at London's Liverpool Street Station. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

The first Aventra train waits at London's Liverpool Street Station. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

Greater Anglia is set to promote rail travel as part of the UK’s ‘green recovery’ plans as a new report reveals that it cut its own carbon emission by 11% in 2019.

The train operator — which is replacing all its electric trains with new ones and has already replaced its Norwich to London Intercity services and London to Stansted Airport Stansted Express services with new Stadler electric trains — says it has been striving to make the operation “even more sustainable”.

Measures include its more energy-efficient trains, cutting waste, increasing recycling and working on projects to improve sustainability and biodiversity at stations.

Environment and energy manager Stephanie Evans said they wanted to “let people know that we are working to become even more environmentally friendly and start making the case for choosing the train over the car” once things return to normal following the coronavirus pandemic.

“Research shows that trains are the most environmentally friendly form of transport after cycling and walking, with greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre by rail being far less than cars,” she said.

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“Because of this, we hope that rail will be an important part of the ‘green recovery’ we are all aspiring to, helping communities stay connected to jobs, education, family, friends and leisure opportunities in a way that helps to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.

“Our new trains are more efficient and produce less particulate pollution than our old ones which will help to make rail travel in East Anglia an even more environmentally friendly option.”

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All of Greater Anglia’s existing diesel trains in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have been replaced with “bi-mode” trains which can switch between diesel and electric power, with the diesel engines meeting tighter emissions standards. These can switch to electric mode when they are running underneath an electric line.

The rest of the company’s electric trains are being replaced with new trains made by UK manufacturer Bombardier which are lighter than their predecessors. Like the Stadler trains, they include regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the electrical supply network. The Stadler electric trains can generate more electricity when braking than they use while accelerating.

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