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16 October 2016, 06:26
Today sees the start of Abellio Greater Anglia's new franchise deal worth £1.5 billion - which will also see new fleet rolled out across the network.
Two new fleets of 1,043 carriages will be introduced to the franchise between Spring 2019 and Autumn 2020, built by Bombardier in Derby (665 carriages) and Stadler in Switzerland (378 carriages). They will replace the existing fleets of trains and will create an increase of approximately 10% in the fleet size compared to today.
The 58 trains that make up the deal comprise 378 vehicles with a combination of Intercity Electric Multiple Units and Regional Bi-mode Multiple Units which can run under electric or diesel power.
They are the first major passenger fleet order in the UK for Stadler and will run on the following routes:
" InterCity services between London and Norwich
" Stansted Express airport services from London to Stansted Airport
" Key Regional services in East Anglia
The Stadler trains are designed to provide a significantly enhanced passenger experience that will transform rail travel for people in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex and Cambridgeshire.
The FLIRT trains to be used on the East Anglia franchise will be equipped with climate-controlled air-conditioning; '2x2' seating; Wi-Fi and power points throughout the train; a low floor design, allowing easier access to platform from the train; passenger information systems with real-time information; and regenerative braking.
Commenting on the new contract, Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK, said: "Our ambitious plans for the new franchise are centred on the largest-ever privately-funded train procurement in the UK to give the people of East Anglia high quality trains as part of a transformation of the region's railway. They will be the centrepiece of many other improvements including more frequent services, faster journeys and more capacity with 55% more seats into London in the morning peak".
Peter Jenelten, Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing & Sales of Stadler said: "I am delighted that Stadler has been chosen by Abellio East Anglia for the supply of these new trains in the prestigious UK rolling stock market. All the trains we will be delivering are derived from the latest generation of the best-selling FLIRT family, featuring low floor and level boarding for improved accessibility, passenger comfort and safety. The regional Bi-mode trains feature environmentally friendly, state of the art diesel-electric technology."
Mark Swindell, Founding Partner of Rock Rail, which has acted as the lead financier to Abellio, said: "Rock Rail is delighted to be able to work with new institutional investors, demonstrating that Rock Rail has become attractive to investors looking to invest in the UK. This includes the European Investment Bank, investing in post-BREXIT Britain and the Manchester and London pension funds. It is pleasing that Aviva have made their second investment in UK rolling stock.
"We are proud to be part of the transformation of Abellio East Anglia rail services giving a step-change for passengers with these high-quality Stadler trains."