Training is underway for Greater Anglia drivers, conductors, customer service and cleaning staff on the company’s brand-new longer state-of-the-art commuter trains.
Greater Anglia will run the new trains from Liverpool Street to Essex, Ipswich, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and is training hundreds of staff to get ready for the new trains, which are due to start going into passenger service later this year.
Conductors, who will carry out various roles on the new trains on the Wickford to Southminster, Manningtree to Harwich Town, Colchester to Ipswich, Clacton and Walton-on-the-Naze routes, are currently being familiarised with the new trains.
They are learning about relevant systems on board to be able to undertake their duties and support customers during their journey.
Customer service staff at stations are being trained in a wide variety of areas including how to use new wheelchair ramps and where the new accessible area is in the train, which comes complete with plug and USB sockets and a universal access toilet nearby.
Greater Anglia’s train cleaners are receiving specific training on the cleaning of the new trains, including tasks such as topping up the screen wash while being serviced at a depot.
Drivers are working through a dedicated training programme, which incorporates a mixture of classroom training, full-scale cab simulator and driving of the new trains across the Greater Anglia network.
They learn about all the new systems on board needed to operate the new trains.
The company’s new trains will have over 1,000 seats at their longest and run in Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.
The trains all have air conditioning, USB points, plug sockets and free wifi, a wheelchair user area which includes seating for friends and family, and a dedicated area for full size bicycles.
They have underfloor heating – a first for UK trains – which will work with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.
The trains are significantly lighter than previous trains and 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.
Greater Anglia’s Business Readiness Director Andrew Goodrum said: “Training is going at full speed throughout the business as we look to introduce the first of our new commuter trains to our network on the London to Southend route.
“We’ve trained hundreds of our colleagues so far so they’re all aware of what they need to do to with our new trains, which have new systems and a different equipment layout to get to grips with.
“We have, of course, taken steps to make sure our staff are protected from COVID-19 throughout all of the training.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming passengers on our new Bombardier commuter trains in the coming months.”
The first of the new Bombardier trains is due to enter passenger service on the Greater Anglia network on routes via Shenfield later this year, with the roll-out expected to reach the West Anglia line in the second half of 2021.
Photo and video credit: Greater Anglia