Two of Greater Anglia’s brand new trains are expected to be out on night time test runs in the next couple of weeks – so road-users in Norfolk are warned to remain vigilant at level crossings in the early hours when they’re not used to trains operating.
The trains – both bi-modes which switch between diesel and electric power – will travel between Diss and Norwich and Norwich and Great Yarmouth on various nights over the next fortnight, between 23.59 and 5.00.
Initial testing is taking place at night so that it does not clash with passenger services.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia Franchising and Programmes Director said: “It’s very exciting to have some of our new trains on our network now, but we are warning motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in Norfolk to watch out for level crossings in use at times when they’re not used to trains being in service.
“There are a number of safety, performance and familiarisation tests we need to complete on our new trains before they come into service later this year.”
Test runs between Norwich and Diss will check the mechanical working of the train’s pantograph – the device which picks up electricity from the overhead line – which raises and lowers as it switches from diesel to electric power.
At this stage, the pantograph will not be taking any power from the overhead line, the test is just to check the working of the machinery on top of the train.
On test runs between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, technicians will be checking the train’s Automatic Selective Door Operation, which ultimately will be used if the train is longer than the platform it is calling at.
This is used on some of Greater Anglia’s existing services when they call at small stations such as Kennett, near Bury St Edmunds.
Bi-mode trains, made by Swiss manufacturer Stadler, will replace all of Greater Anglia’s diesel trains, which run on regional routes between Norwich and Sheringham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Cambridge; Ipswich and Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Cambridge and Peterborough; and Marks Tey and Sudbury.
Greater Anglia is replacing every single train on the network with 169 brand new trains, which will all be longer, with more seats, free fast wifi, plug and USB points, air conditioning, wheelchair spaces and accessible toilets.
Stadler is making 58 of the trains including those for the Intercity and Stansted Express service. UK manufacturer Bombardier is building 111 electric trains which will run on commuter routes into London Liverpool Street from Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.