Greater Anglia shows off new trains as leafbuster work improves services
Rail company Greater Anglia is giving passengers a glimpse of what their new trains will look like with a Virtual Reality demonstration at Ipswich station next week.
And the rail company is also celebrating after it revealed that its campaign to clear leaves from the tracks and introducing new brakes to rural trains had help make its services more reliable during the often-problematic autumn season.
Passengers will be able to put on special goggles to see what the new trains, to be introduced from 2019, should look like both inside and out during a special demonstration on Tuesday morning.
The Virtual Reality display will show the outside of the Stadler-built Intercity trains and Bombardier suburban trains. The goggles will then take you “inside” to see the seats of both and the “bistro” section of the InterCity train.
Mike Kean, Greater Anglia Deputy Managing Director, said: “We’re spending £1.4 billion on brand new trains to replace every single train on our network. It’s going to transform rail travel in East Anglia.
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“We’re really excited about it and we’re confident that when people experience our new trains through virtual reality they’ll be looking forward to their arrival as much as we are.”
Meanwhile the company announced that its work with Network Rail to ease the “leaves on the line” problem had led to a 4% improvement in punctuality on rural services compared with last autumn.
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The main improvement has been a £500,000 scheme to install new brakes on rural trains – but a Network Rail campaign to clear trees and clean tracks using a special train has also helped.
Greater Anglia’s Head of Performance and Planning, Keith Palmer, said: “We’re pleased that the work to fit new brakes to our branch line trains is already helping to improve performance meaning fewer delays for passengers.
“The first two weeks of November are traditionally when we see the most delays due to leaves on the line, so we are not complacent and will be continuing to work with Network Rail to tackle leaves on the line as the season progresses.”
Maliha Duymaz from Network Rail said: “Weunderstand the inconvenience caused when problems occur, and our engineers will be doing everything they can to keep passengers moving.”