Testing begins on the new trains for Greater Anglia

New Bombardier trains
Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has announced that high-speed testing has started on their new UK-built commuter trains.

Bombardier is building 111 trains for Greater Anglia which will run into London Liverpool Street from Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

Once the trains are built, they have to go through a series of safety and performance tests before passengers can use them.

Testing has begun with the first of the newly built trains being put through its paces at 110mph at the Railway Innovation and Development Centre test track at Old Dalby.

Although these trains will only ever run at a maximum speed of 100mph on the Greater Anglia network, testing runs go up to 110mph for contingency purposes.

The acceleration and braking systems of the train are being tested.

Greater Anglia is replacing every single one of its existing trains with brand new trains, which will all be longer with more seats.

The Bombardier trains will have underfloor heating – a first for UK trains – which will work with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort

The first of the new Bombardier trains is expected to come into service at the end of this year and all of them should be in service by the end of 2020.

What did the officials say?

Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programme director, said:

“It’s good to see one of our new Bombardier trains running at full speed on the test track. I can’t wait to see it doing 100mph in East Anglia.

“These trains are going to transform our customers’ experience of rail travel in this region as we replace old trains with brand new state-of-the-art modern trains.”

Andy Derbyshire, UK Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Transportation said:

“This is an exciting time for our Aventra platform and our product for Greater Anglia. We are looking forward to completing the tests and seeing the new trains in passenger service.”

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  1. I will be taking pictures of the Class 720 Aventra trains across Essex. Which I am so looking forward to seeing them in service and the Class 720 to replace the Class 317, Class 321, Class 360 Desiro and Class 379 Electrostar EMUs. Once they have begun service which hopefully they should start service from late this year or early/mid next year.

  2. Great stuff, always look forward to new traction….let us hope they do not include that threatening “You must make sure you have a valid ticket before travelling on one of OUR trains….” spiel every few minutes. (part of me expects the announcement to end “….or you will be incarcerated!!)-or worse…..


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