Greater Anglia (GA) is to fit its Stansted Express trains with tables, in a significant customer-focused upgrade that is scheduled to begin later this year and is due for completion by the end of 2025. The initiative will also benefit passengers on GA’s intercity services between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, and London, as the Class 745/1 Stansted Express trains operate a few of those services each day.
Although the trains already have fold down, seat-back tables on most seats, there are currently no tables in the bays of four seats. This is because when the trains were ordered and specified, it was expected that passenger demand profiles, operating schedules and prospective rail infrastructure upgrades would mean that the trains would only operate a couple of services a day at most on the Great Eastern Main Line. In fact, the trains are covering more services than anticipated and customer feedback has reinforced the value passengers place on tables, especially on the intercity services, but also on the Stansted Express services too, enabling them to work more easily, use their laptops, and place papers, books or drinks on tables when sat in the bays of four seats.
As a result, Greater Anglia has worked with Stadler, the company which manufactured and maintains the trains, to develop a scheme to install tables in all the bays of four on the Stansted Express trains, so customers will always have access to tables on intercity services once the installation programme is complete.
As the efficient use of Greater Anglia’s intercity and Stansted Express trains means most trains are in service for most of the week, to maintain the excellent performance and availability of Greater Anglia services (currently consistently the most punctual and reliable in the UK), the tables will be fitted in a phased way – rather than taking a full train out of service for a number of weeks at a time with the extra challenges that would present. But customers will progressively see more and more tables fitted during the project from this autumn onwards through to project completion, which is due by the end of next year.
Martin Moran, Greater Anglia’s Commercial and Customer Service Director said :
“We are pleased to be delivering this significant upgrade, which will provide a better service for our customers, and which directly addresses feedback from passengers on the need for tables on all of our intercity services.
“We always seek to address our customers’ priorities for high service standards and ongoing improvements. Our high-quality new trains have been very well received, but this was a further enhancement which had been highlighted by many customers, so we’re glad to be able to confirm we will now be fitting tables throughout our Stansted Express trains, with benefits for both our Stansted Express and intercity customers.”
Image credit: Greater Anglia