Watch: the first of Greater Anglia's new Swiss-made trains travelling the region
PUBLISHED: 11:10 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:19 28 February 2019
Norfolk commuters will hope new trains being rolled out on the regional network keep time with the same precision as Swiss-made watches, as Greater Anglia tests the first of its new long electric trains made in the Alpine country.
The 12-carriage long train is one of ten which will replace the current trains on the Stansted Express route between London Liverpool Street and Stansted airport.
On Thursday (February 28) the train completed its journey from Switzerland to Norwich, where it will be put through a series of safety and performance tests before it is passed fit for passenger service.
The train is the same model as the new Intercity trains, also being made by Stadler, to replace the current slam-door trains which run between Norwich and Liverpool Street.
Although they look the same from the outside, the interiors are fitted out differently, with the new Intercity trains including a cafe-bar and first-class seating area, not available on the new Stansted Express trains.
All of the new Swiss-made electric trains are longer, with more seats, plugs and USB sockets and air-conditioning.
They will have fast free wifi and improved passenger information screens.
Greater Anglia is getting ten new Stansted Express trains and ten new Intercity trains.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia Franchising and Programmes Director, said: “It was an incredible sight to see this long modern-looking train travelling along our line. It’s a glimpse of the near future, when they will be carrying more passengers in comfort and style between Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and London.”
Testing is due to start on the new Stansted Express train later in March.
Engineers will initially test its performance at different speeds on different tracks at night between Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester.
They will then test the train at night between Norwich and Diss to make sure that the train is fully compatible with Network Rail’s signalling system.
Greater Anglia is replacing every single existing train with brand new trains, including 58 made by Stadler and 111 made by Bombardier in Derby.