Sunday, 30 September 2018

Rail: 'Lack of accountability' led to timetable chaos

"No-one took charge" during the timetable chaos that caused severe disruption on Britain's railways in May, a regulator has said. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) blamed a lack of "responsibility and accountability" for the problems and said passengers were "badly treated".

It said track manager Network Rail, two train operators and the Department for Transport "had all made mistakes".
It came as the government promised a major review of Britain's railways.

What happened?

From 20 May, passengers suffered delays and cancellations after the rail industry attempted to introduce the biggest timetable change in a generation.
The upgrade - which involved changes to 46% of train times - mainly affected Northern Trains in the north west of England and Govia Thameslink (GTR) routes into London.
Over a period of several weeks, GTR and Northern cancelled up to 470 and 310 scheduled trains respectively each weekday.
ORR chairman Prof Stephen Glaister said: "Good intentions and over-optimism within the rail industry about its ability to recover missed deadlines left no time to uncover and fix problems.
"When problems arose, timetable planners were stretched and train operators were ill-equipped to help passengers."

Who was to blame?

Following a three-month inquiry, the ORR found the causes of the botched rollout dated back years.
These included delays with Network Rail's electrification work in northern England, as well as late changes to the Thameslink programme.
This pushed back the development of the timetable and gave train operators less time to prepare for the introduction of new services.
Prof Glaister said that the ORR itself had failings - like everyone else in the industry. "We took on trust what we were told," he said.
"What happened here is that railway people have a tradition of sorting out problems as they occur. That led to complacency when in the process of planning the timetables - deadlines were missed, late decisions were made so that operators didn't have time to deliver a proper service on the day."
He added "it was unclear" who should have the responsibility for tackling the problems.

What have the rail companies and government said?

Andrew Haines, boss of Network Rail, said: "Today, I'd like to add my sincerest apologies to passengers for letting them down with May's timetable troubles.
"A whole system approach to timetable planning must be the way ahead and we have already started on that path with the new winter timetable due in December that will see some modest improvements."
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling had previously insisted: "I don't run the railways."
However, the DfT said it welcomed the ORR's findings and called May's disruption "unacceptable".
Northern Rail said train operators were usually given 40 weeks to plan the twice-yearly introduction but had to rewrite its May 2018 timetable in 16 weeks.
Northern said it was "deeply sorry" for the disruption, adding it had reinstated 151 of the 165 services hit by the problems.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group which represents train companies and Network Rail, said the rail industry was determined to learn from the issues to avoid a repeat.
He added: "The structural issues highlighted in this report underline the need for the wide-ranging, root and branch rail review we have been calling for to deliver meaningful reform."

What will the review contain?

The government has also launched what it called the most significant review of the rail industry since privatisation, headed by former British Airways boss Keith Williams.
It comes amid significant challenges, with punctuality at a 12-year low and commuters facing an increase of up to 3.2% in the cost of season tickets from January.
The DfT said the review would consider all parts of the sector, including accountability, the franchising system and value for money for passengers and taxpayers.
Mr Grayling said: "It is clear that the structure we inherited is no longer fit to meet today's challenges and cope with increasing customer demand.
"Following the disruption this summer we took immediate action to improve services and ensure the industry compensated passengers.
"We've been clear that the railway needs reform to prioritise its passengers, and we have set out plans for closer partnerships
"But as part of our vision for the future of mobility, we need to go further and more quickly, to get the best from the public and private sectors and deliver the railway we need for the 21st century."

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Latest London Bus Contract Awards

The latest awards recently announced by Transport for London as follows

124 (Catford & Eltham) LBSL contract re-awarded to Stagecoach Selkent using a mixture of existing fleet 2012/13 Euro-V and 2014 Euro-VI diesel single-decks. (Contract start date 25th May 2019).

136 (Grove Park Station & Elephant & Castle) LBSL contract re-awarded to Stagecoach Selkent with 2018 Euro-VI hybrid double-decks (25th May 2019).

227 Crystal Palace & Bromley North Station) LBSL contract awarded to Go-Ahead Metrobus with new Euro-VI diesel single-decks. Currently operated by Stagecoach Selkent with Mercedes-Benz Citaro single-decks from Bromley (TB) Garage (22nd June 2019).

All routes are a Daily operation and Euro-V vehicles will be upgraded to Euro-VI emissions standards.

Want more information on the full London bus scene, then why not have a look at the London Omnibus Traction Society's website at
Better still why not join and gain the benefits of the regular monthly newsletter along with other useful publications

Friday, 28 September 2018

Delaine News

As Delaine Buses expands their fleet and takes delivery of a new single deck Wrightbus bodied B8RLE vehicle we bring news of their forthcoming running day on Saturday 29th September.

The new 205 service replaces service 9 run by Centrebus and commences the day after service 9 ceases.

The new bus number 164 (AD68 DBL) in the fleet seen here near Ryhall courtesy of Richard Godfrey

The origins of Delaine Buses of Bourne Lincolnshire can be traced back to 1890 when the family introduced horse-drawn vehicles to cater for local people wishing to travel to markets throughout the surrounding area.

The first motor bus was introduced in 1919 and daily services from Bourne to Peterborough, Stamford, Spalding and Grantham were all established by 1923.

Today the fleet of 29 buses is operated by the fifth and sixth generation's of the Delaine-Smith family and the company ethos of quality, continuity and reliability is as important today as its always been. The core business is still based around some of the original services, which have been developed and tailored, using a careful blend of tradition and acting on current market demands.

Delaine Running Day 29th September 2018

The Delaine Heritage fleet will be on show and operating at the forthcoming Running Day.
Also to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Yeates Coach Builders a photo call of Yeates bodied vehicles will take place at 11.10.


Thursday, 27 September 2018

Megabus Backing Anti-Tailgating Campaign

Inter-city coach operator is backing a new campaign by Highways England to tackle the problem of tailgating on the country’s major roads and motorways., whose passengers make more than 5 million trips across the UK every year, is supporting the 'Don’t be a Space Invader - stay safe, stay back’ initiative launched today.

New figures show that one in eight of all road casualties are caused by people who drive too close to the vehicle in front, with more than 100 people killed or seriously injured each year.

The new safety campaign is using the well-known Space Invader video game character to alert drivers to the anti-social nature and risks of tailgating.

Mark Venables, Managing Director of, said: "We invest millions of pounds in on-board technology and training for our professional driving team to ensure we get people safely to their destination. Tailgating, whether accidental or deliberate, is a major problem on our roads and we all have a responsibility to make sure we are not a danger to other road users.

"Safety is our absolute priority and all of our vehicles are fitted with state-of-the-art telematics technology which is designed to encourage safe, smooth and fuel-efficient driving. Better driver behaviour by all road users avoids the stop-start ripple effect caused by tailgating and means quicker and more reliable journeys for everyone. And catching the coach instead of taking the car can help people avoid the stress of driving and being a victim of tailgating."

Further information on the Highways England campaign is available at

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Major Delay to Next Cross Country Franchise

Arriva UK Trains will continue to run the Cross Country franchise for the foreseeable future following an announcement by the The Secretary of State for Transport. There is to be a review of rail operations that will consider recommendations for reform, to ensure the rail system continues to benefit passengers and support the economy.
The department has reviewed all ongoing franchise competitions and other live rail projects in the context of the rail review. 
Due to the unique geographic nature of the Cross Country franchise, which runs from Aberdeen to Penzance and cuts across multiple parts of the railway, awarding this franchise in 2019 could impact on the review’s conclusions. It has therefore been decided that this competition will not proceed.
Services will continue to be operated by the existing franchisee with options beyond this to be considered in due course. The department will consider the responses to the Cross Country public consultation in the development of future options for the franchise.

All other ongoing franchise competitions and other live rail projects are continuing as planned.


John Scragg recently attended the above named event and has kindly provided a nice selection of pictures, which can now be viewed by clicking  here

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Hydrogen Train Enters Enters Service

The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell train has entered service. The Coradia iLint, built by Alstom in Salzgitter, Germany, is equipped with fuel cells which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, thus eliminating pollutant emissions related to propulsion. Two trains have entered commercial service in Lower Saxony.

 Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV-maker Alstom, on Monday began running a 62 mile (100km) route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany – a stretch normally plied by diesel trains.
Travellers in EVB’s Elbe-Weser network are experiencing a world-first journey on the low-noise, zero-emission trains that reach up to 140 km/h. The Coradia iLint trains are operating on nearly 100km of line running between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude, replacing EVB’s existing diesel fleet. The new trains are fuelled at a mobile hydrogen filling station where gaseous hydrogen is pumped into the trains from a 40-foot-high steel container next to the tracks at Bremervörde station. With one tank and a range of 1000 km they can run throughout the network the whole day. A stationary filling station on EVB premises is scheduled to go into operation in 2021, when Alstom will deliver a further 14 Coradia iLint trains to LNVG.   

"This is a revolution for Alstom and for the future of mobility. The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell train has entered passenger service and is ready for serial production,” emphasises Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and CEO of Alstom. “The Coradia iLint heralds a new era in emission-free rail transport. It is an innovation that results from French-German teamwork and exemplifies successful cross-border cooperation.”
Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economy and Transport, whose department has supported LNVG’s purchase of another 14 hydrogen trains with more than €81 million, is impressed: “Lower Saxony is performing real pioneering work in local transport in cooperation with Alstom and EVB. The emission-free drive technology of the Coradia iLint provides a climate-friendly alternative to conventional diesel trains, particularly on non-electrified lines,” he explains. “In successfully proving the operability of the fuel cell technology in daily service, we will set the course for rail transport to be largely operated climate-friendly and emission-free in the future. The state government of Lower Saxony is proud of putting this trendsetting project on the track together with LNVG.”

The federal government has actively supported the development and testing of the new drive technology in Lower Saxony by providing funds from the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.
Enak Ferlemann, Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport and Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, puts it in a nutshell: “A world premiere in Germany. We are putting the first passenger train with fuel cell technology on the track. This is a strong sign for the mobility of the future. Hydrogen is a real, low-emission and efficient alternative to diesel. These trains can be operated cleanly and in an environmentally friendly way, especially on secondary lines where overhead lines are uneconomical or not available yet.” He added: “We therefore support and fund this technology, in order to expand it.”   
LNVG’s Managing Director looks further into the future: “We also do this because about 120 diesel trainsets in our vehicle pool will reach the end of their lifetime within the next 30 years, meaning we will have to replace them. The experience gained with this project helps us find a sustainable and practical solution.”
With around 2 million rail passengers and around 4 million bus passengers per year, EVB figures among the largest mobility providers in the Elbe-Weser triangle. The traditional company, which boasts a history of more than 100 years and around 550 employees, is looking forward to the “train of the future”.  Dr. Marcel Frank, Managing Director of EVB, emphasizes: “It is a great milestone that we will use the world’s first hydrogen-powered train in our Elbe-Weser network in passenger service between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude, not only for the region and for us, but also for passenger rail transport worldwide. For EVB, this is the entry to emission-free mobility.”  

Monday, 24 September 2018

Interim Summary of Section 19 and 22 Consultation

The full report into the use of vehicles under section 19 and 22 has been delayed but in the meantime the Government have issued an Interim summary of responses.

Concerns had been raised by private bus operators and others that some organisations operating under the permit system may be offering commercial services while benefiting from not-for-profit status. This brought to the fore the conflict as to whether "not-for-profit" equates to "non-commercial". 

The consultation set out Government proposals to address these concerns. These focused on updating existing guidance as to the interpretation of the exemptions from the Regulation to illustrate when the exemptions might apply, and on scope to amend existing domestic legislation to provide greater legal certainty.

 Western Dales run registered mini bus services which use volunteer drivers in a large area where very few commercial service operate. The bus is seen in Kendal
whilst operating on the Thursday only Kirkby Stephen to Kendal service.

Cumbria Classic Coaches have run commercial services to Kendal, Hawes, Barnard Castle and Penrith for many years. They have a full operators licence and use PCV drivers with CPC qualifications. Above Leyland PS1 CWG 286 has just arrived in Kendal on the Thursday commercial (non subsidised) service from Shap.

Cumbria Classic Coaches Bristol Lodekker 627 HFM on the Monday 571 service to Kendal.
In view of the excellent summer weather this year the convertible vehicle was sometimes used on the service as an open topper. These services are commercially registered and mostly operated by an Olympian.

The overall intention is to give clarity, so that those in the community transport sector motivated by compassion and philanthropy, rather than profit, can continue providing services that are invaluable to many elderly, isolated and disabled people.

The Department of Transport has advised that councils must ascertain whether S19 holders meet one of five definitions of "non commercial" which included services where there is no commercial market for that service. This could include where there were no bids from commercial operators.

The purpose of the summary report is to:

Present emerging findings from the Government's consultation on the use of section 19 and section 22 permits for road transport passengers in Great Britain; and set out the steps the Department will be taking over the coming months in order to determine the Government's final response to the consultation.

The Department for Transport received 494 written responses to the consultation which closed on 4 May, and over 550 people attended the workshops that the Department ran during the consultation period. The number of responses received, their length and complexity were unusual for consultations of this nature and the consultation analysis has been a more complex task than anticipated.

This interim summary therefore covers around 100 responses together with the feedback received from the workshops. In assessing written responses, the Department focused on local authorities as they had been relatively poorly represented at the workshops.

Themes arising so far include:
Further clarity on the proposed text of the guidance including real world or good practice examples of how to evaluate certain types of service
Differing views on whether “not-for-profit” operators fall within scope of the exemptions in regulation, with a particular focus on the “non-commercial” exemption

Many local authorities and community transport operators commented that the draft text for the guidance which prevents the "non-commercial" exemption applying if an operator also raises income through occasional private hire of vehicles would be a major issue for many community transport operators. 
This activity was often done to subsidise other services. Some noted that removing the ability to do this would result in many community transport operators reverting to a greater dependence on grants and donations, significantly affecting their continued viability. 
Some thought it should be possible for private hire to be carried out by permit holders as the overall purpose of the organisation was not to generate a profit. 

The interpretation of the law has been very clearly stated but in spite of this operators who comply fully with the licencing rules, using PCV drivers are complaining that councils are still awarding contracts to Section 19/22 companies. An example of this is that Erewash CT were awarded contracts by Nottingham shire County Council when they offered lower bids than commercial operators. Erewash CT have already been warned by DVSA that they are gaining contracts by ignoring the applicable legal requirements.

Others, particularly representatives of the commercial sector, were of the view that every organisation operating vehicles capable of carrying more than 8 passengers should be subject to the same rules, with some referring to an existing judgement in relation to the "non-commercial" carriage of goods to support their view. 
A number of respondents said that charging passengers for a service is "commercial", regardless of not-for-profit status. Some suggested that permit holders should be restricted to running a small maximum number of vehicles.

All remaining responses will be analysed to determine final approach to the guidance and draft regulations

Read the full Interim Report  here

Sunday, 23 September 2018

ADL Opens Singapore Workshops and Parts Centre

Alexander Dennis has opened a new facility in Singapore to support its continued growth across Asia Pacific. The new site includes a parts distribution and training centre for the wider South East Asian region in addition to offices for the local team working with customers and stakeholders in Singapore.

Alexander Dennis, the world’s largest manufacturer of double deck buses, has used its established presence as market leader in Hong Kong as a springboard to expand into new markets in South East Asia, breaking into Singapore in 2014 and Malaysia in 2015. Providing best-in-class aftermarket support is a core part of the organisation’s plans for further growth in Asia Pacific.

The new 25,000 square foot facility, in the north of Singapore close to the Woodlands border crossing to Malaysia, has a parts warehouse, inside bus workshop, as well as a state-of-the-art training room and offices. It is designed to support contract requirements defined by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority.

Alexander Dennis’s parts business in Singapore has grown significantly over the last couple of years and this new facility will serve as a hub to the South East Asian customer base.

Paul Davies, Managing Director for Alexander Dennis Asia Pacific, says: “Asia Pacific is a key area of strategic growth for Alexander Dennis. Building on our existing successes in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand, we look forward to further expansion of our activities. Our new facility in Singapore will support these ambitions by providing a first-class operating base for South East Asia.”

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Return of a Duchess

Duchess of Sutherland back in action after overhaul

With all pictures courtesy of Simon Kerry

A 1930s steam locomotive, once used to pull the Royal Train, is back in action after a £150,000 overhaul.

The 80-year-old Duchess of Sutherland, which has been repainted in its original crimson livery, left Swanwick Junction Station in Derbyshire en route to Kidderminster in Worcestershire.

In 2002, it became the first steam locomotive to haul the Royal Train for 35 years when it transported the Queen as part of her Golden Jubilee.

The engine is operated by The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust.


This set features a selection of buses and coaches that attended the Trans-Lancs Transport Show in Heaton Park during September. Kindly provided by Steve Maskell they can now be viewed by clicking  here

Friday, 21 September 2018

Stagecoach Trading Statement September 2018

Stagecoach Group plc has issued a trading update in respect of its financial year ending 27 April 2019, ahead of a series of meetings with analysts.

The company say they are pleased to have made a good start to the year and the forecast of the Group's adjusted earnings per share for the year is broadly unchanged from when the full year results were announced in June 2018.

Revenue growth

Like-for-like revenue growth for the financial year to date in each of the Group's main businesses is provided below.

UK Bus (regional operations) - sixteen weeks ended 18 August 2018 3.2%

UK Bus (London) - sixteen weeks ended 18 August 2018 (2.2)%

North America - four months ended 31 August 2018 (3.8)%

UK Rail (excluding Virgin Trains East Coast) - sixteen weeks ended 18 August 2018 2.1%

Virgin Rail Group - sixteen weeks ended 18 August 2018 5.3%

UK Bus (regional operations)

The UK Bus (regional operations) Division has performed well during the period, which is believed to be partly attributable to the favourable summer weather throughout the country. The company have also benefitted from revenue earned from providing additional bus services to replace train services that were affected by planned re-signalling work at Derby railway station. The expectation is that revenue growth will moderate over the remainder of the year, reflecting the one-off benefits in the year to date.

Like-for-like vehicle miles operated were 1.4% lower than in the previous year, consistent with the plan set out in June. Like-for-like revenue per vehicle mile grew 4.7% and like-for-like revenue per journey also increased 4.7%.

UK Bus (London)

The reported revenue decrease for the UK Bus (London) Division is in line with expectations and reflects the impact of contracts lost in the prior year. Operating costs are higher than budgeted due to the lag in fuel price rises being reflected in contract revenue, higher operating costs during the hot weather and the start-up costs of a new sightseeing service. 

Stagecoach are disappointed with performance on current year tenders for Transport for London contracts, which will result in an increase in the rate of revenue decline later on in the year. Nevertheless, they continue to see positive opportunities to improve the revenue and profitability of the Division over the longer term and they will maintain the discipline in bidding for new contracts.

North America

The like-for-like revenue decline of 3.8% for the Division includes 1.8% decline for North America. megabus revenue per mile for the period was up 3.8%. Trading at the other businesses in North America remains in line with expectations. Like-for-like revenue at these businesses decreased by 4.7%, reflecting the benefit in the equivalent period last year from rail replacement contracts linked to train disruptions on New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road.

UK Rail and Virgin Rail Group

The financial performance of the rail businesses is broadly in line with expectations with continued good profitability at both East Midlands Trains and Virgin Rail Group's West Coast Trains.

As expected, revenue growth at the East Midlands Trains franchise has been suppressed, due to the effects of both the reduced services to accommodate changes to the Thameslink network effective May 2018 and the current year re-signalling programme at Derby railway station.

Interim results

The next planned update is the announcement of the Group's interim results for the half-year ended 27 October 2018 on 5 December 2018.


Three albums have been added to the site all from a recent weekend of events down in the South West. Two focus on the 11th Kingsbridge Bus Running Day, whilst the third illustrates a small number of buses used on a private run across Dartmoor. These can now be viewed by clicking  here  here  and  here

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Hitachi Begins Manufacture of Hull Trains New Fleet

Work to construct the first shell of Hull Trains’ new hi-tech Hitachi fleet has been completed, new pictures have unveiled.

The new trains, set to run from December 2019, form part of a £60 million investment Hull Trains is making to improve its services for customers. The operator will replace its current fleet of Class 180s with five new intercity Class 802 trains, financed by Angel Trains.

These hi-tech trains will operate using both diesel and electric traction, which means that Hull Trains customers will benefit from the East Coast Mainline’s electrified track. Hitachi has used its Japanese bullet train technology to make the trains light and aerodynamic. 

The trains speed and bi-mode capability contributes to reduced journey times and higher top speeds of 225 km/h. Customers will also benefit from 20% more seating capacity compared to current services, as well as new interiors for greater customer comfort.

Decisions have also been made to ensure the interiors are brighter, more spacious and streamlined, further adding to the positive experience that is the main focus of the Hull Trains team.

The new fleet will also be quieter and more environmentally friendly - the new trains reduce harmful emissions by up to 90% compared to other trains using the East Coast Mainline.

Louise Cheeseman, managing director of Hull Trains, said: “We’re very excited to confirm this latest development in the investment of our new fleet. Now that the body of our first Class 802 is complete, we can show passengers a first glimpse of what our new services will look like.

“These trains will really transform travel from Hull and East Yorkshire to the capital and we are delighted to see the progress made so far – the images bring the trains to life from the concepts that have been released.”

The shells of the new trains are being built at Hitachi Rail’s manufacturing plant in Kasado, Japan. The trains will then be completed at Hitachi’s site in Pistoia, Italy before being tested and shipped to the UK for use on the East Coast Mainline next year.

Louise added: “Following this investment we will be able to boast some of the most technologically advanced, fastest and most comfortable trains on the UK rail network. It is great news for our customers, who are always at the centre of our focus, and means we will provide more in terms of service, as well as potentially reduce journey times.”

REVISED DATE FOR THE DIARY - Sunday 7th October - Chesham

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

New Greater Anglia Vehicles on Test

Greater Anglia is replacing every single train with brand-new trains, which will start to come into service from summer 2019. In the meantime, people have been invited to visit five stations across the network to “step on-board” one of the new trains via a virtual reality headset. This has given people the chance to experience its brand-new trains through virtual reality, with a series of roadshows at some of its stations. 

Through the headsets, people have been able to walk onto a station platform where three of the new trains are parked – a Bombardier train and two Stadler trains.

The Bombardier trains will replace commuter trains which run to Liverpool Street from Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridge and Ipswich. The Stadler trains will replace trains on the Intercity, Stansted Express and rural services.

Once “on board”, passengers have been able to look around and see the new seats, carpet, plug points, interior layout/décor, large picture windows and even visit the toilet. Accessibility arrangements have been on view and an opportunity to visit the “bistro” on the Intercity train and walk through the airy carriages.

 One of the completed Bombardier trains

Mike Kean, Deputy Managing Director, Greater Anglia, said: “We’re spending £1.4 billion on brand- new trains to replace every single train on our network. This major investment is going to transform rail travel in East Anglia.

“We’re really excited about this huge upgrade and we’re confident that when people experience our new trains through virtual reality they’ll be looking forward to their arrival as much as we are.”

Greater Anglia has involved customers and stakeholders, including rail user groups and accessibility groups, in deciding and finalising the design of the new trains. An online consultation saw over 1,000 people respond.

Greater Anglia has released photos showing their brand new trains on test at the Velim Rail Test Track in the Czech Republic.

 Above & below a Stadler Train on the Velim Rail
Test Track in the Czech Republic.

Stadler is building 58 new trains for Greater Anglia. However, before they are put into passenger service, they must be put through some thorough tests to make sure they are safe and are working well.

The bi-mode trains will run on regional routes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, while the electric trains will replace the current Intercity and Stansted Express trains.

Once the trains are in the UK, people will see the trains around East Anglia for many months before they enter passenger service. This is to allow train crews to learn how everything works before allowing passengers onboard.

The first train is expected to enter passenger service in the middle of next year.

Jamie Burles, Managing Director of Greater Anglia, added:

“It’s really exciting to be able to see the first of our Stadler trains in action. We’re sure that these trains will transform train travel in East Anglia.

“With more seats, and all the facilities you expect on a modern train, they are definitely going to make travelling by rail a very attractive option across our region.”

Martino Celeghini, Project Manager for Stadler, said:

“Each of the 58 trains we are supplying are from the latest generation of our best-selling, highly successful FLIRT family. The FLIRT is Stadler’s flagship product, featuring low floor and level boarding for improved accessibility, passenger comfort and safety. The testing phase signifies a critical landmark in the process of making and finishing the trains, and it’s only by effective collaboration with our client that the project has been able to make such good progress.”