More rail passengers in Essex are able to travel on new trains as Greater Anglia’s state-of-the-art electric commuter trains entered passenger service on two new routes.

The new trains went into service on the Harwich and Walton-on-the-Naze branch lines on Monday 13 September in time for early morning commuters.

On the same day, Greater Anglia started running additional services in response to more people travelling by train as commuters are encouraged to return to the office.

Greater Anglia’s new commuter trains have been made in the UK by Alstom, formerly Bombardier, who are supplying 133 five-carriage trains, which can be coupled to run as ten-carriage trains.

Each carriage of the new Alstom Aventra Class 720 trains is longer with more seats than carriages of Greater Anglia’s old trains.

They have USB and plug points, fast free wifi, air conditioning, improved accessibility features including an accessible toilet on every train, better passenger information screens and dedicated cycle spaces.

One of Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains en route to Walton-on-the-Naze. Credit: Greater Anglia

The trains are the first in the UK to have underfloor heating which works with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.

They feature regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the electrical supply network, rather than wasting the energy through heat, as is the case with conventional systems.

Some are already in passenger service on routes between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria, Southminster, Braintree, Clacton, Ipswich, Colchester Town, Cambridge and Hertford East.

Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia client and programme director said: “We’re very pleased that customers on more routes are now able to enjoy new trains.

“We know from customer feedback that customers enjoy the added comfort, the plug and USB sockets and other improved features these new trains have.

Piers Wood, Alstom Customer Director, Rolling Stock said: “It’s really great news that more Greater Anglia passengers will now benefit from these advanced British electric trains, delivering capacity, comfort and the latest features as passengers return to rail.”

There are already new trains operating all services on the Norwich–London intercity, Stansted Airport–London Stansted Express, Norwich–Cambridge/Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham, Ipswich–Cambridge, Peterborough, Felixstowe and Lowestoft, and Marks Tey–Sudbury routes.

Extra services added to Greater Anglia’s timetable on Monday included an extra 12 services every weekday and eight at weekends are being added to the Norwich to London Liverpool Street intercity service – and two express Norwich in 90 services are being reintroduced.

The full timetable was restored on the Great Eastern mainline service between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria, Braintree, Colchester, Colchester Town, Clacton/Walton, Harwich and Ipswich.

Five additional services were added to the West Anglia mainline, which runs between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge and on to Kings Lynn – but not all of the five services go to Kings Lynn.

Photo credit: Greater Anglia

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