New Greater Anglia trains taking shape
- Credit: Archant
Greater Anglia’s first new regional trains that are due to transform services in the region has started testing at a special centre in Switzerland.
The new trains – which can run on both electric power from overhead lines or from a diesel power plant – are due to start arriving in the region at the beginning of next year and should be in service by May 2019.
The trains are being built by Swiss company Stadler which was visited by a group of Greater Anglia bosses this week.
At the same time, Greater Anglia’s brand new intercity and Stansted Express trains are being assembled in another factory nearby.
Stadler is making a total of 58 trains for Greater Anglia, including 38 “bi-mode” trains.
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The train’s body is now connected to the wheels – known as the bogies. The driver’s cab is mounted and the diesel engines have been fitted.
Although the train is yet to be fitted with seats, wifi, toilets, and bicycle racks, it is possible to drive it and carry out safety and performance tests on it, to make sure all necessary standards are met.
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Meanwhile, Stadler’s factory in Bussnang is full of Greater Anglia trains in various stages of production, including the welding of carriage bodyshells together and the installation of technical equipment, cabling and lighting. Mike Kean, Greater Anglia director of franchising and programmes, said: “Seeing the first of our bi-mode trains on the tracks in Switzerland, it’s easy to imagine it speeding along our rural lines in East Anglia.
“These modern trains really are going to transform rail travel in East Anglia – with each one fitted with more seats, plug and USB points, air conditioning and fast free wifi.”
Ralf Warwel, marketing director of Stadler for the UK, said: “The bi-mode, Stansted Express and Intercity trains for East Anglia will improve the comfort for the passengers by offering spacious interiors and by allowing comfortable and fast access to the train by low floor level entrances. The gap to the platforms will be further reduced using a retractable step.
“These are powerful and comfortable trains which share many similar design and operational concepts as well as identical components which reduces training time for drivers and maintenance staff.”