Greater Anglia has introduced its new Class 720 trains to the Southminster branch. The 18:02 service from London Liverpool Street to Southminster on Wednesday 23 December was operated by two brand new trains, coupled together to form a ten-carriage train.
The same train then operated as the 19:19 Southminister to Shenfield service, calling at Burnham-on-Crouch, Althorne, North Fambridge, South Woodham Ferrers, Battlesbridge, Wickford and Shenfield.
Greater Anglia is purchasing 133 five-carriage ‘Aventra’ trains from Bombardier Transportation to operate services between London Liverpool Street and Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Ipswich.
The first two of these trains entered passenger service on the Southend Victoria line on Thursday 26 November, with another two entering passenger service on the Braintree line on Wednesday 16 December.
A total of eight of these new trains are now in service – as two provide back-up while maintenance and cleaning take place.
The roll-out of Greater Anglia’s new Bombardier trains will continue on Great Eastern routes in Essex and to Ipswich next year and is expected to begin on the West Anglia route between Liverpool Street and Cambridge in the second half of 2021.
The new trains include a range of features to enhance passenger comfort, including underfloor heating and anti-trap doors.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: “All through the pandemic, our teams have been working hard to carry out safety and performance tests on these trains, in partnership with Bombardier.
“Seeing them in passenger service and hearing customers’ positive reactions is brilliant. We’re delighted to be improving our customers’ journeys with us.
“We’re looking forward to more of the same in 2021 as more and more new trains come into passenger service across the whole of our network.