One of Greater Anglia’s brand-new longer trains has started passenger service on one of the Ipswich branch lines for the first time.
The state-of-the-art new train went into passenger service on the Ipswich-Felixstowe route, starting with the 6.04am from Ipswich, returning from Felixstowe at 6.36am.
Brand new three and four carriage trains are replacing the existing one and two carriage trains which currently run on the route.
The new trains have more seats, plug and USB sockets, free fast wifi, air conditioning, better passenger information screens and improved accessibility features.
Made by Swiss manufacturer, Stadler, they are powered by diesel and electricity, and are much greener than the existing diesel trains, with lower emissions, and modern brakes which release less brake dust into the environment.
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.’
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 trains will come into service on further Ipswich routes.
Greater Anglia is replacing every single train on its network with brand new trains. The roll-out started in July this year on regional routes.
New trains are now in service on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Cambridge and Sheringham and Ipswich to Felixstowe lines.
The train company is getting 58 trains from Stadler, including 38 bi-mode trains and 20 electric trains – ten for the intercity route between Norwich and London and ten for the Stansted Express route.
Safety and performance tests are being carried out on the Stadler electric trains on both the Norwich – London and Stansted Airport – London routes.
A total of 111 trains are being made by UK train manufacturer Bombardier, who have now made over 20 of Greater Anglia’s new electric commuter trains which will run on routes between Liverpool Street and Essex, Ipswich, Cambridge and Hertfordshire.
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.