Greater Anglia has introduced its new Bombardier Class 720 electric trains into passenger service.
Two of the new five-car units were coupled together to form ten carriages for the 16:10 service to London Liverpool Street from Southend Victoria, before returning as the 17:25 from Liverpool Street, arriving in Southend Victoria at 18:28 on Thursday 26 November 2020.
UK manufacturer Bombardier is supplying 133 of the new Aventra electric commuter trains, which will mostly run into London Liverpool Street from Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Ipswich.
Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director Ian McConnell said: “We are absolutely delighted to have put the first of our brand-new Bombardier trains in passenger service.
“All through the pandemic, our teams have been working hard to carry out safety and performance tests on these trains, in partnership with Bombardier.
“At the same time, we’ve been training our staff and getting stations ready for these new trains.
“We’re confident these new trains will improve our customers’ journeys as they are longer with more seats and all the mod-cons modern passengers expect.
“Last year, Network Rail finished a long-term programme to completely replace the overhead wire system which was installed in the 1950s on the Southend Victoria line and we are now introducing brand new trains on this route, so together we’re transforming the railway in this region.”
The new trains have USB and plug points, fast free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, improved accessibility features including a disabled toilet on every train, better passenger information screens and dedicated cycle spaces.
They are also the first in the UK to have underfloor heating, which works with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.
Greater Anglia is replacing every single train on its network with brand new trains. The first new train – made by Swiss manufacturer Stadler – entered passenger service in July 2019 on the Norwich–Lowestoft route. 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 in the second half of 2021.