'I'm honestly impressed' - Greater Anglia officially launches its new trains
PUBLISHED: 17:15 03 September 2019
Today is the day Greater Anglia's long-awaited new trains are officially launched with a celebration at Norwich railway station.
Greater Anglia has invested £1.4bn in replacing its existing diesel fleet, which operates on regional routes, with 169 new trains.
The new electric and bi-mode trains, which switch between diesel and electricity, offer passengers more seats, extra leg room, air conditioning, plug and USB points as well as better accessibility.
The new stock went into service at the end of July with the first journey in the region taking place between Lowestoft and Norwich.
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Since then, the trains have been introduced on the Norwich to Cambridge route and from today will be rolled out on services between Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
Visiting Norwich station to see the new stock, Chris Heaton-Harris minister for rail from the Department of Transport said the new investment would make the region the envy of the country when it comes to rail infrastructure, he said: "£1.4bn worth of new trains like this is going to improve reliability and comfort. [The new trains] accelerate and decelerate much faster than the current trains and in the future time tables will change to give people more services.
"It won't be long before everybody else in the country wants a network with the sort of services being run on it like these."
Mr Heaton-Harris said one of the things which had impressed him most about the new trains was the improved accessibility: "You won't have to book an appointment to get on a train anymore if you're in a wheelchair because you can do it all yourself here, it's a massive step change in the rolling stock in this part of the world."
"I'm honestly impressed, I've not seen one of these [trains] before, back in the day I used to be the chairman of the all party group for learning disabilities in parliament and the accessibility on these trains is one of the most impressive things and it's what we should and need to have across the whole network, it's really good to see it being rolled out here."
The official launch of the new bi-mode trains will tale place at Norwich station from 10am the majority of the regional bi-mode trains are expected to be in service by the end of 2019.