First new Greater Anglia Intercity style train passes through Ipswich
- Credit: Archant
The first new Intercity-style train for Greater Anglia has arrived in the region after being brought across Europe from the Swiss Stadler factory where it was built.
The 12-car train was pulled through Ipswich station early on Thursday en route for the Crown Point train depot in Norwich.
Although this unit looks almost identical from the outside to the Intercity trains that will be introduced on the main line between Ipswich, Colchester, and Norwich to London, it is actually destined for the Stansted Express services – and unlike the Intercity trains it has no catering nor First Class accommodation.
However it is mechanically identical and will be used for testing around the electrified lines on the network – although it will not leave the depot until static tests are complete
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.
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Greater Anglia is getting 10 new Stansted Express trains and 10 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.”
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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 on rural and cross-country services.
New trains will start to come into service from the middle of this year as part of a two-year roll out.