Anglia receives ‘755’
Greater Anglia welcomes the first of its Stadler Class 755 bi-mode trains to Norwich Crown Point depot.
THE first of Greater Anglia’s 169 new trains arrived at Norwich Crown Point on November 15.
Four-car bi-mode 755405 was delivered by DB Cargo 66002. Built by Stadler, it is the first of 38 bi-mode units (BMUs) to arrive at the Norfolk depot (24 four-car ‘755/4s’ and 14 three-car ‘755/3s’).
GA has 58 trains on order from Stadler (38 BMUs and 20 electric multiple units), and 111 on order from Bombardier (89 five-car and 22 ten-car Class 720 EMUs). Both fleets start entering service next year.
The ‘755’ will now undergo commissioning before beginning testing on the Great Eastern Main Line from mid-December. They are due to enter traffic around the start of the new May timetable.
“It’s so exciting to see one of our new trains here in East Anglia. I’m sure people will be impressed when they see it - it is very different to our existing trains,” said GA Franchising and Programmes Director Ian McConnell.
“Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking delivery of more of these trains, so customers will see them around and about our stations.”
Five of the trains will be delivered to the UK before the end of the year, although RAIL understands that not all will necessarily be delivered to Norwich, with other locations being assessed for possible short-term storage and testing ahead of their introduction. Crown Point is currently being redeveloped ready for the new trains - the main maintenance shed is being extended, and new sidings are being installed in the Wensum Triangle between the main running lines and the existing sidings.
GA staff have already carried out testing on the trains in Europe, with work carried out at Velim (Czech Republic) and Faurlei (Romania). This has included work on testing brakes, pantographs, noise levels, emissions, operational safety, automatic train protection systems, and testing on special curved tracks against derailment.
Driver training will begin soon, with GA drivers carrying out all testing, supported by Rail Operations Group. The testing will be on the GEML as well as the branch lines they will serve. Once the trains are accepted for use, the company intends to carry on testing the sets to identify any problems.
The Class 755s will be used on
services from Norwich to Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Sheringham and Stansted Airport. They will also run between Lowestoft, Ipswich and London Liverpool Street, Ipswich-Peterborough, IpswichFelixstowe, Ipswich-Cambridge and Sudbury-Colchester Town.
The trains will be used on Norwich-London Liverpool Street services initially, although the Stadler Class 745 EMUs are earmarked to take over these.
All ‘755s’ are fitted with plug and USB sockets, free WiFi, airconditioning, accessible toilets, wheelchair spaces and bicycle spaces. GA says they should all be in traffic by the end of 2019, allowing it to remove its Class 153, ‘156’ and ‘170’ fleets from traffic.
Ralf Warwel, UK sales director at Stadler, said: “The arrival of the first Greater Anglia train on British soil is a highly symbolic moment, both for the project and for the Stadler business. We’ve made no secret of the fact that we are keen to make headway in the UK market. This order placed two years ago was our first major contract for passenger trains, paving the way for subsequent orders with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Merseytravel, and most recently for Wales & Borders.”
The new Stadler trains are financed by Rock Rail East Anglia, a joint venture between Rock Rail, Aberdeen Standard Investments and GLIL Infrastructure.
DB Cargo 66002 hauls 755405 through Ipswich on November 15, as the 0343 Ripple Lane-Norwich Crown Point. The ‘755’ arrived at Dollands Moor and was moved to Ripple Lane via HS1 before being taken to Norfolk.
Greater Anglia 755405 stands at Norwich Crown Point on November 15, only a couple of hours after delivery.
The Class 755s are articulated, featuring fewer bogies (as seen on 755405).