Greater Anglia’s brand new electric commuter trains began serving Ipswich today, Tuesday 23 March 2021.
The brand new ten-car British built train, one of 133 new commuter trains that will eventually serve the region, began the day early this morning with a Clacton to Liverpool Street service. The train, made up of two five-car units, then headed north to Ipswich. It’s the first time these new trains – built by Alstom (formerly known as Bombardier) in Derby – have operated in passenger service north of Witham and Braintree.
The new trains, which are longer than the units they replace, have more seats. They also have two wheelchair user spaces and one accessible toilet along with a dedicated space for four full-size bikes per each five-car train. They are also the first trains in the UK to be fitted with underfloor heating, which works with an overhead heating and air conditioning system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.
The new commuter trains are also equipped with regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the overhead electrical supply. Conventional trains convert braking power into heat which is dissipated and wasted.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia business readiness director, who was on board for the first passenger trip, said: “It’s brilliant to see more of our routes served by brand new trains.
“Obviously at the moment there aren’t as many passengers as usual due to Covid-19, but as we follow the roadmap out of lockdown, we’re sure passengers will appreciate the extra seats, space and mod cons that these trains will give them.
“Since we first introduced our new Alstom trains into passenger service last November, we’ve been delighted with passengers’ responses – they like the comfort of the seats, the plug and USB sockets, the fast free wifi and the smooth quiet ride.”
The new commuter trains are already in passenger service between Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street and on the Southminster and Braintree lines. They’ll begin serving Harwich, Manningtree, Walton-on-the-Naze and Thorpe-le-Soken later this year along with stations on the West Anglia route including Cambridge. The full rollout across the Greater Anglia network is expected to be completed in Summer 2022 .