Features unveiled on Greater Anglia’s new trains

new_train_bombadier 511
Credit: Greater Anglia

LED lighting, underfloor heating and anti-trap doors are just three features that have been revealed for Greater Anglia’s new commuter trains.

Greater Anglia will be getting 111 Class 720 trains from Bombardier, the first of which is set to enter passenger service in 2020.

The new trains are longer, with more seats than the outgoing trains – the seats of which are designed specifically for Greater Anglia to maximise comfort for passengers.

Many of the train seats are fitted with fold-down tables, with special grooves to make it easier to prop your tablet or phone up – handy for those passengers catching up on TV or films whilst travelling.

Bombardier seats in the new Greater Anglia trains
Credit: Greater Anglia

The seating design leaves room for luggage or stretched out legs.

Two wheelchair spaces per each five-carriage trains mean plenty of room. Additionally, there are 48 priority seats for less mobile passengers. Each wheelchair space includes a plug, USB socket and a small coffee table.

Power sockets in the new greater anglia trains
Credit: Greater Anglia

Passenger information screens, or ‘PIS’, give clear information in each carriage and provide useful information for passengers, such as onward travel options.

Trains feature no doors between carriages, making it easier for passengers to walk down the train, which also makes some passengers feel safer, says Greater Anglia.

The LED lights and ‘PIS’ dim and brighten depending on outdoor conditions, saving energy and providing ambient lighting for passengers.

Greater Anglia new trains
Credit: Greater Anglia

These new trains are equipped with air conditioning, and they are the first trains in the UK to be equipped with underfloor heating.

Unlike the trains that they replace, the new trains have four bicycle spaces per train.

Not one, but two toilets feature per five-carriage train, including one accessible toilet. All the waste is then collected via a tank and not released onto the tracks.

Every set of doors has a feature to stop items like bags and straps getting trapped when a door closes. The doors automatically open in order to free the item, but after three attempts, the doors will open completely.

The trains are 40% lighter than previous trains and feature regenerative braking which delivers the energy back into the supply, rather than wasting energy.

Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: “It’s been very exciting to see these new trains in action and experience all of the brilliant features which will improve our customers’ journeys. We’re still able to make a few minor tweaks to the design to make them as good as they can be. I’m confident that passengers will find them a big improvement on the old trains they are replacing. We can’t wait to get these new trains into passenger service and complete our transformation of our railway with the wholescale replacement of every single train.”


Will Tanner, Bombardier UK Communications Director, said “Greater Anglia have specified a cutting edge British-designed and built AVENTRA train packed with innovative passenger features. We are all working hard to get them into service as soon as possible.”

Where Next?

RailAdvent Plus
   Get image downloads, Prints and Streaming Video
News Homepage
   For the Latest Railway News
RailAdvent Online Shop
   Framed Prints, DVD’s / Blu-Ray’s and more
LocoStop Community
   Come and share your railway pictures
Mainline Steam Info
   Upcoming mainline steam tours/loco movements
Greater Anglia
   Visit their website


  1. The 22 Class 720/1 89 Class 720/5 Aventra units are to replace the Class 317, Class 321, Class 360 Desiro and Class 379 Electrostar EMU units. With the Class 360s to be cascaded to East Midlands Railway. Class 379s to be cascaded to Gautrain or to be sent for storage. Or cascaded to Great Northern or GWR/Heathrow Express.

    Class 317s to be sent for storage or scrapped and the Class 321s to be sent for storage and later converted into “Breeze” Hydrogen/Battery MU “Flex” units.

  2. Will the 22 10-Car Class 720/1s might operate on the branch lines such as Wickford-Southminster, Manningtree-Harwich Town and Stratford-Hertford East & Meridian Water and to work on the West Anglia and Great Eastern routes. With the 89 5-Car Class 720/5 to work on all the services.

    And also c2c have ordered 6 10-Car Class 720/6 (formerly Class 711) that will operate on the LTS line and to replace the Class 387/3s from 2021.

  3. I still think that Greater Anglia should of kept and retained the Class 379 Electrostars as they would of been ideal to operate them on the branch lines as 4-Car and at peak times running as 8-Car and 12-Car on the West Anglia and Great Eastern services to add more capacity on their services.

  4. Those open carriages are far more suited to short journeys on inner suburban / underground railways,not for the distances that will be covered on some Greater Anglia routes.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here