Rail firm makes room for returning commuters


Greater Anglia has reintroduced some services that were cut because of the pandemic and added more new electric commuter trains to its fleet.

The rail operator said it started running additional services in response to more people travelling by train as commuters are encouraged to return to the office.

Credit: Greater Anglia

Extra services added to Greater Anglia’s timetable on Monday included an extra 12 services every weekday and eight at weekends on the Norwich to Liverpool Street intercity service – and two express ‘Norwich in 90’ services are being reintroduced.

The full timetable was restored on the Great Eastern mainline service between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria, Braintree, Colchester, Colchester Town, Clacton/Walton, Harwich and Ipswich. 

Meanwhile, five additional services were added to the West Anglia mainline, which runs between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge and on to Kings Lynn – although not all services go to Kings Lynn.

The new Aventra Class 720 trains went into service on the Harwich and Walton-on-the-Naze branch lines on Monday 13 September in time for early morning commuters.

They have been made in the UK by Alstom, formerly Bombardier, which is supplying 133 five-carriage trains that can be coupled to run as 10-carriage trains.

Greater Anglia said each carriage of the new trains is longer with more seats than the carriages of its old trains.

It added that they are the first in the UK to have underfloor heating which works with an overhead heating and ventilation system and increases foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.

Credit: Greater Anglia

The trains also have USB and plug points, fast free wifi, air conditioning, an accessible toilet on every train, better passenger information screens and dedicated cycle spaces, the firm said.

They also feature regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the electrical supply network.

Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia client and programme director said: 'We’re very pleased that customers on more routes are now able to enjoy new trains.’

Piers Wood, Alstom customer director, rolling stock said: ‘It’s really great news that more Greater Anglia passengers will now benefit from these advanced British electric trains, delivering capacity, comfort and the latest features as passengers return to rail.’

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