Greater Anglia’s brand new bi-mode trains have have started serving passengers on the Felixstowe Line. The first new train went into service at 6.04am Tuesday.
The state of the art three and four-carriage bi-mode trains are replacing the current one and two-car diesel trains that serve Westerfield, Trimley, Derby Road and Felixstowe from Ipswich.
They are equipped with plug and USB sockets, free wifi, air conditioning, better passenger information screens and much bigger windows; the trains have improved accessibility features including wider doors and a lower floor height which makes for easier boarding.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We’re very pleased that the roll-out of our new trains has now reached Ipswich. We know that customers on the Ipswich-Felixstowe line will appreciate the huge improvement these new trains will be bring including the mod-cons on board and better reliability. This line is important for people travelling for work, business and leisure, so we’re confident our new trains will have a positive impact on the local economy, as well as greatly improving our customers’ journeys with us.”
The new trains, which are manufactured by Stadler in Switzerland are powered by diesel and electricity and are much more environmentally friendly than the existing diesel trains; they produce lower emissions and feature modern brakes which release less brake dust.
Martino Celeghini, senior technical project manager at Stadler, said: “These new trains will transform rail travel in East Anglia. Providing maximum comfort, they offer a wide range of features, including the latest in sliding step technology, which will revolutionise the customer experience for people in wheel-chairs or with reduced mobility. As more trains are rolled out on to the network, we are sure that passengers will notice a massive improvement in the quality of their journeys.”
Before the end of the year, new bi-mode trains will go into service on additional routes out of Ipswich.
The roll-out started in July of this year on the Norwich to Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth routes followed by Cambridge and Sheringham.
Greater Anglia is replacing every train on its network with brand new trains; 58 of the trains will come from Stadler including 38 bi-mode units and 20 electric trains – ten for the Intercity service between Norwich and London and ten for the Stansted Express route.
The bi-mode trains are part of a £600m investment in new Stadler trains for the region which have been financed by Rock Rail East Anglia and will be leased to Greater Anglia for the life of the franchise.
In addition to the Swiss built trains, UK train company Bombardier is producing 111 electric trains which will run the commuter routes between Liverpool Street, Ipswich, Cambridge and Hertfordshire; more than 20 have already been manufactured.