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December 28, 2020updated 29 Dec 2020 5:46pm

Greater Anglia rolls out new trains on Southminster line in England

Greater Anglia, a train operating company in Great Britain, has introduced its new Class 720 locomotives to the Southminster branch line.

Greater Anglia, a train operating company in Great Britain, has introduced its new Class 720 locomotives to the Southminster branch line.

On 23 December, the two brand new trains operated the 18.02 service from London Liverpool Street to Southminster.

It also operated the 19.19 service from Southminster to Shenfield.

In the past four weeks, the company has introduced new passenger trains on two other routes in Essex, between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria and Braintree.

In the upcoming days, the company will be receiving 133 five-carriage Bombardier commuter trains, which will frequently run from Essex to London Liverpool Street, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Ipswich.

The first two of these locomotives started operating on the Southend Victoria line on 26 November, while the other two entered passenger service on the Braintree line on 16 December.

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Around eight of these new trains are currently in service, out of which two provide back-up during maintenance and cleaning.

Greater Anglia’s new Bombardier train roll out will continue on the Great Eastern routes in Essex and to Ipswich next year.

The new Bombardier locomotives on the West Anglia route between Liverpool Street and Cambridge will commence services in the second half of 2021.

The new five-carriage Class 720 AVENTRA Bombardier trains can be used as five carriage trains, or joined together to form ten-carriage trains.

Furthermore, these trains are lengthier, with more seats, and feature better passenger information screens, USB and plug points, free and fast wifi, and improved accessibility.

Greater Anglia claimed that these trains are the first in the UK to have under-floor heating.

The regenerative braking system in the locomotives saves energy as it sends the energy back into the electrical supply network, which is not the case with conventional systems.

The locomotives have been procured and financed by British rolling stock company Angel Trains.

Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director Ian McConnell said: “All through the pandemic, our teams have been working hard to carry out safety and performance tests on these trains, in partnership with Bombardier. Seeing them in passenger service and hearing customers’ positive reactions is brilliant. We’re delighted to be improving our customers’ journeys with us. We’re looking forward to more of the same in 2021 as more and more new trains come into passenger service across the whole of our network.”

Bombardier Transportation UK and Ireland president Matt Byrne said: ”It’s great news that Greater Anglia’s passengers on more routes can now travel on these cutting-edge, British-designed-and-built AVENTRA trains. We are working really closely with Greater Anglia to ensure that the production, testing and delivery of the new trains continue despite the continuing impact of Covid-19.

“Higher capacity, more sustainable, and packed with features such as wifi, USB charging and under-floor heating, the new electric trains are playing an important part in helping transform journeys across the Greater Anglia network.”

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