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Greater Anglia shows off its new trains - coming to more Suffolk routes soon

PUBLISHED: 14:27 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:27 04 September 2019

Mark Swindell of Rock Rail, Dr Thomas Ahlburg of Stadler and Jamie Burles from Greater Anglia at the launch of the new trains. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

Mark Swindell of Rock Rail, Dr Thomas Ahlburg of Stadler and Jamie Burles from Greater Anglia at the launch of the new trains. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

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Rail company Greater Anglia has formally launched its new fleet of regional trains with special runs between Lowestoft and Norwich.

Driver Kevin Murrel inside the cab of the new Stadler train. Picture: GREATER ANGLIADriver Kevin Murrel inside the cab of the new Stadler train. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

The new bimode - powered by either electricity or diesel - trains will be introduced on all cross-country and branch line trains in the region over the next 12 months. The first were put into service on routes in Norfolk last month.

They are built by Swiss company Stadler, who were represented at the official launch. The new trains are longer, faster, more comfortable, and more reliable than the old diesel units from the 1980s and 1990s that they replace.

They are some of the first trains in the UK to be financed with long-term investment from pension funds and insurance companies through Rock Rail East Anglia, a joint venture between Rock Rail, Aberdeen Standard Investments and GLIL Infrastructure.

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Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: "Our customers are telling us they think our new trains are amazing. We promised new trains would improve their journeys and that's exactly what they're doing. Feedback has been brilliant.

Thomas Ahlburg, group chief executive of Stadler, said: "Our new trains combine outstanding passenger comfort with leading edge technology. After months of hard work, we are delighted that they are being introduced into service.

"Stadler has a reputation for designing and producing excellent products, tailored to the needs of customers. The successful roll-out of these trains is testament to this, consolidating our position as a key player in the UK market. The coming months will see the electric trains open their doors to passengers. I am confident that they will enjoy as many plaudits as the bi-modes."

Greater Anglia is getting 38 bi-mode trains, 24 x four-carriage trains and 14 x three-carriage trains, which will run between Ipswich and Cambridge, Felixstowe, Lowestoft, and Peterborough; and Marks Tey and Sudbury. The first trains are expected to start appearing on Suffolk lines over the next few months with existing trains due to move to other parts of the country after refurbishment programmes.

Greater Anglia is replacing all of its existing trains with 169 brand new trains in total - the most ambitious fleet replacement in UK rail franchising history.

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