Greater Anglia ran its new Bombardier Class 720 trains in passenger service for the first time on Thursday 26 November 2020.
Two of the new five-car trains were used coupled together to form ten carriages for the 16:10 service to London Liverpool Street, from Southend Victoria, before returning as the 17:25 from Liverpool Street, arriving in Southend Victoria at 18:28.
Bombardier is delivering 133 of the new ‘Aventra’ five-carriage commuter trains, which will mostly run into London Liverpool Street from Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Ipswich.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have put the first of our brand-new Bombardier trains in passenger service.
“All through the pandemic, our teams have been working hard to carry out safety and performance tests on these trains, in partnership with Bombardier.
“At the same time, we’ve been training our staff and getting stations ready for these new trains.
“We’re confident these new trains will improve our customers’ journeys as they are longer with more seats and all the mod-cons modern passengers expect.
“Last year, Network Rail finished a long-term programme to completely replace the overhead wire system which was installed in the 1950s on the Southend Victoria line and we are now introducing brand new trains on this route, so together we’re transforming the railway in this region.”