Greater Anglia marks a year of new trains as reliability improves
- Credit: Archant
Greater Anglia is celebrating the first anniversary of the introduction of its Stadler bimode trains which have become more reliable after a difficult first few months.
The first of the new trains was introduced on rural services at the end of July last year and were gradually introduced on all non-electric lines over the next six months.
However during the autumn, especially during the leaf-fall season, there were major problems as the new trains had to be checked for safety between November and January and timetables were thrown into chaos following an incident at a Norfolk level crossing.
On that occasion the gates opened as a train approached and there was a very near miss as a car crossed in front of the train. Following that sensors on the lines and the trains had to be checked – leading to slower trains and cancellations for several weeks. Direct services from Ipswich to Peterborough were suspended over several weeks – although eventually engineers said it was not the new trains that were the cause of the problem that had led to the issue in Norfolk.
During the lockdown problems with the software on the trains have been ironed out and for the last three months punctuality figures have mostly been between 93% and 99% on routes where the new Stadler trains are running.
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The first of Greater Anglia’s new trains set off for its maiden passenger voyage as the 07.47 service from Lowestoft to Norwich on 29 July 2019.
Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, said today: “We’re really pleased with the positive customer reaction to our new bi-mode trains. This has been a major project, but my team has kept up a relentless focus on bringing our fantastic new trains into service and providing a better service for customers across the region.
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“I am really proud of their hard work and dedication to transforming rail travel for people in East Anglia and the passenger feedback has shown just how much the new trains are appreciated.
“We look forward to welcoming people back on board our more comfortable, quieter, more reliable and environmentally friendly services, now that travel advice has changed and everyone can take the train again.”
Greater Anglia’s Stadler bi-mode trains have 167 or 229 seats, an increase of between 21% and 42% more seats on the trains they replace. In some cases, where they have replaced a single carriage train, there are 131% more seats .
The introduction of the bi-mode trains on Greater Anglia’s regional routes was completed on February 1. The new intercity trains have also now all been brought into service on the Norwich to London route – taking over full operation of intercity services from March 25 onwards.