The first two of Greater Anglia’s brand-new Stansted Express trains have now entered passenger service between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
The first train to be operated by one of the new 12-carriage electric trains, built by Swiss company Stadler, left London Liverpool Street for the airport at 05.06 on Tuesday morning.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: “We’re very pleased to have started the roll out of our new Stansted Express trains into passenger service.
“They provide significant benefits for both airport travellers and other customers travelling to or from London from stations such as Bishops Stortford and Harlow Town.
“This milestone marks the start of the final phase of the programme to introduce the new trains being built for us by Stadler.
“All 38 bi-mode regional trains and ten 10 electric intercity trains are already in passenger service. Over the next six to nine months we will replace all the current trains on the Stansted Express services with new trains, as part of our phased programme for bringing our new trains into service.
“As we do so, we will be able to progressively transfer the current Stansted Express trains on to other West Anglia services, enabling some of the older trains to be withdrawn from service.
“This means many more passengers start to see the benefits of better trains, in advance of the introduction of our new commuter trains on West Anglia services, which is expected to begin in the latter half of 2021.”
The new, longer Stansted Express trains have 767 seats – an increase of 83% on the 418 seats available on the 8-carriage trains currently operating the services.
They also have plug and USB sockets, free fast Wi-Fi, air conditioning and improved passenger information screens.
Just as on Greater Anglia’s new bi-mode and intercity trains, they have gold standard accessibility features including a lower floor and a retractable step at every door to bridge the gap between the train and platform.
In every way, they offer a high quality travel experience for travellers between Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street.
Steve Griffiths, Managing Director for London Stansted Airport said: “The start of the introduction of brand new Stansted Express trains is fantastic news for all users of the service, including airport passengers, staff and local commuters as they travel between the airport and London, significantly enhancing the onboard journey experience and providing a real boost to our proud record as the UK’s number one airport for public transport use by passengers.”
Leandro Haggenmacher, technical project manager for Stadler, said: “The start of the roll-out of trains for the Stansted Express route is a significant landmark, as we enter the final stages of the project to supply 58 new trains for the Greater Anglia network. We are very pleased to have reached this point, recognising the important role Stansted Airport plays in the regional economy, boosting economic growth and supporting jobs.”
The Stansted Express trains are part of a £600m investment in new Stadler trains for the region which have been financed by Rock Rail East Anglia and will be leased to Greater Anglia for the life of the franchise.
Photo credit: Greater Anglia