Home General Interest New train testing on Greater Anglia

New train testing on Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia continues to test its new fleet of commuter trains in the build-up to them starting to enter passenger service later this year

Built by Bombardier in Derby, the trains are doing test runs between Shenfield and Southend Victoria every day while final checks are completed, including in-depth reliability testing, covering over 1,500 miles in a week.

Overnight testing is also sometimes needed to check that software updates have been successful such as with the new passenger information system on board the train, which will be more modern than previous system in use on Greater Anglia’s older trains.

During the testing, the company’s drivers are being trained on the new trains under the watchful eye of an instructor. They check that safety systems are working correctly and they can deal with any out-of-the ordinary incidents, such as a passenger alarm being pulled, for example.

Greater Anglia’s customer service and conductor teams, as well as cleaners, have also been getting to grips with the new trains in their own training sessions, looking at the new systems and equipment on board.

Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: “The in-depth test running and checks are vital as we want to make sure the trains pass our strict safety and performance tests.

“We’re very excited to see great feedback from people on social media who have spotted our new trains on the network while they’re being tested.

“We’re looking forward to bring them into passenger service, as we know they will make a huge difference to our customers’ journeys.”

The company has ordered a total of 133 brand-new five-carriage Bombardier commuter trains. They are all longer than the trains they are replacing, with more seats, air conditioning, fast free Wi-Fi, improved passenger information screens, better accessibility features and bicycle spaces on each train.

The trains have underfloor heating – a first for UK trains – which works with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats. They also 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.

The first of the new Bombardier trains is due to enter passenger service on the Greater Anglia network in Essex later this year. The roll-out will continue on Great Eastern routes in Essex and to Ipswich next year and is expected to begin on the West Anglia line by the second half of 2021.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Network Rail enhancement budget cut by £1bn

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has confirmed, in a written answer to a question from Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Jim McMahon,...