Train training for maintenance crews set to work on Greater Anglia’s new fleet

A new Bi-mode trains nearing completion at Stadler's Swiss factory Picture: NICK STRUGNELL/GREATER A

A new Bi-mode trains nearing completion at Stadler's Swiss factory Picture: NICK STRUGNELL/GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

Greater Anglia engineers are set to be flown out to Switzerland to learn about maintenance on a new fleet of trains set to arrive in East Anglia later this year.

The intensive training involves 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.

Groups of Greater Anglia systems technicians, selected by Stadler for their skills and expertise, 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. Stadler is providing 58 trains, including 38 “bi-mode” trains which can switch between electricity and diesel power, for routes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

They will also be involved in testing them for different conditions, such as night-time, daytime, and wet and hot weather

One of the selected engineers, Uriah James, said: “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.”

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The company is also producing 10 electric intercity trains and 10 electric Stansted Express 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.”

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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 £1.4bn in replacing all its trains with new models, which will all have more seats, plug and USB sockets, fast free wifi, air conditioning and disabled toilets.

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