Watch: Greater Anglia teach more staff to use new commuter trains

Greater Anglia has started training more staff to operate its new Aventra commuter trains that are due to come into service on lines from London to Essex and Ipswich over the next few months.

The new Derby-built trains from Bombardier have been tested on routes across the region – but now conductors, customer service and cleaning staff are learning about the company’s brand-new longer commuter trains.

Conductors – who will carry out various roles on the new trains on the Manningtree to Harwich Town, Colchester to Ipswich, Clacton and Walton-on-the-Naze routes – are currently being familiarised with the new trains.

Customer service staff at stations are being trained in a wide variety of areas including how to use new wheelchair ramps and Greater Anglia’s train cleaners are receiving specific training on the cleaning of the new trains, including tasks such as topping up the screen wash while being serviced at a depot.

MORE: What are Greater Anglia’s new trains like?

Drivers are working through a dedicated training programme, which incorporates a mixture of classroom training, full-scale cab simulator and driving of the new trains across the Greater Anglia network.

They learn about all the new systems on board needed to operate the new trains.

The company’s new trains will have more than 1,000 seats at their longest and run in Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

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The trains all have air conditioning, USB points, plug sockets and free wifi, a wheelchair user area which includes seating for friends and family, and a dedicated area for full size bicycles.

They have underfloor heating – a first for UK trains – which will work with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.

They are significantly lighter than previous trains and feature regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the electrical supply network, rather than wasting the energy through heat as is the case with conventional systems.

MORE: Home Secretary Priti Patel disappointed by delay to new trains

Greater Anglia’s Business Readiness Director Andrew Goodrum said: “Training is going at full speed throughout the business as we look to introduce the first of our new commuter trains to our network.

“We’ve trained hundreds of our colleagues so far so they’re all aware of what they need to do to with our new trains, which have new systems and a different equipment layout to get to grips with.

“We have, of course, taken steps to make sure our staff are protected from Covid-19 throughout all of the training. We’re looking forward to welcoming passengers on our new Bombardier commuter trains in the coming months.”

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