British train operating company Greater Anglia has introduced electric commuter trains on two new routes, allowing more commuters to travel in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.
The first train was operated from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge, while another train ran on the Hertford East branch line between London Liverpool Street and Hertford East.
This is the first time that the new Alstom (formerly Bombardier) electric commuter trains have entered passenger service on Greater Anglia’s West Anglia routes.
Some of these commuter trains are already running on the Great Eastern mainline between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria, Southminster, Braintree, Clacton, Ipswich and Colchester Town.
In total, Greater Anglia will receive 133 five-carriage commuter trains.
Around 25 trains are currently available for passenger service, including back-up trains for maintenance and driver training.
More trains are expected to enter the Greater Anglia network in the future.
The new five-carriage Class 720 Aventra Alstom trains can be operated as five-carriage trains or joined together to form ten-carriage trains.
The new trains are longer compared to previous trains, with more seats and facilities, including USB and plug points, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, dedicated cycle spaces, improved accessibility, and better passenger information screens.
Furthermore, they are the first trains in the country to feature underfloor heating and expanded foot room for commuters sitting in window seats.
Their regenerative braking reutilises the energy in the electrical supply network instead of wasting energy through heat.
The company aims to replace every single train on its network with brand new trains.
New trains are already operating 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.
In April this year, Greater Anglia deployed a new robot to keep Stansted Airport railway station clean and sanitised.