August 25, 2021
More rail passengers in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire are now able to travel on new trains after the first of Greater Anglia’s state-of-the-art electric commuter trains entered passenger service on two new routes.
The 5.58 from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge was operated by a new train on Wednesday 25 August, before making several trips between Cambridge, Cambridge North and London Liverpool Street.
Meanwhile, another new train went into passenger service on the Hertford East branch line between London Liverpool Street and Hertford East, after early morning journeys from Cambridge to Stratford and between Broxbourne and Liverpool Street.
The journeys marked the first time Greater Anglia’s new Alstom – formerly Bombardier – electric commuter trains have been in passenger service on the company’s West Anglia routes. Some are already in passenger service on the Great Eastern mainline between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria, Southminster, Braintree, Clacton, Ipswich and Colchester Town.
The company is getting 133 five-carriage Bombardier commuter trains in total. 25 are currently available for passenger service, including back-up trains for maintenance and driver training, with more due on the Greater Anglia network over the coming months.
The new five-carriage Class 720 Aventra Alstom trains, which can be used as five carriage trains or coupled together to form 10-carriage trains, are longer with more seats than the trains they replace. They have USB and plug points, fast free wifi, air conditioning, improved accessibility features including an accessible toilet on every train, better passenger information screens and dedicated cycle spaces.
The trains are 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.
They feature regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the electrical supply network, rather than wasting the energy through heat, as is the case with conventional systems.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia client and programme director, said: “We’re delighted that customers on our West Anglia route can now enjoy these new trains – especially coming at a time when more people are being encouraged to return to the office.
“We’re confident they will significantly improve their journeys, whether it be for work or leisure.”
Piers Wood, Alstom Customer Director, Rolling Stock said: ‘It’s great news that these state-of-the-art trains are now in service on the West Anglia route. We have worked closely with Greater Anglia to ensure these British-built trains can add vital capacity as passengers return to rail.”
Greater Anglia is replacing every single train on its network with brand new trains.
There are already new trains operating all services on the Norwich–London intercity route, Stansted Airport–London Stansted Express, Norwich–Cambridge/Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham, Ipswich–Cambridge, Peterborough, Felixstowe and Lowestoft, and on the Marks Tey–Sudbury route.