Watch: First new Greater Anglia train arrives in region from Swiss factory
PUBLISHED: 11:55 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:16 15 November 2018
The first new Swiss-built train for Greater Anglia has arrived in the region – but it won’t be travelling under its own steam just yet.
It had to be pulled from the Channel Tunnel, around London and along the main line to Greater Anglia’s Crown Point depot Norwich early on Thursday morning by a diesel locomotive because it has to pass many checks before it can run under its own power on British tracks.
The four-car Stadler “bi-mode” train will run on rural routes across the region and will also run some services direct from Lowestoft to London along the East Suffolk line.
The trains will operate as electric services where there are overhead lines – and from a diesel engine on non-electrified routes.
Ian McConnell of Greater Anglia said: “It’s so exciting to see one of our new trains here in East Anglia.
“I’m sure people will be impressed when they see it – it is very different to our existing trains. People will be able to see for themselves that we really are transforming the railway in East Anglia.
“I’m afraid they’re not in service yet – we need to carry out lots of tests to make sure they complete all of our standards for safety and performance before passengers can use them.”
The train will have to pass extensive testing on the Greater Anglia network to make sure it passes strict regulations for being safe to carry passengers in the UK. They are expected to start entering passenger service in May next year.
After a period of classroom-based training, which will include sessions on new multi-million pound simulators, Greater Anglia’s drivers will then undertake test runs using the new trains on routes across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
Greater Anglia is getting 38 bi-mode trains – 24 four-carriage and 14 three-carriage trains – from Stadler.
They will run between Ipswich and Cambridge, Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Peterborough; between Colchester and Sudbury, and from Norwich to Cambridge, Sheringham, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.
The company is also getting ten Intercity and ten Stansted Express trains from Stadler, and 111 electric trains from Bombardier, in Derby, for commuter routes to London from Essex, Ipswich, and Cambridgeshire.