Train operating company Greater Anglia have started introducing their new Aventra trains on the Hertford East branch line in to Liverpool Street.
The British designed and built trains feature USB and plug points, fast free wifi, air conditioning, improved accessibility features including a disabled toilet on every train, better passenger information screens and dedicated cycle spaces.
The trains are the first in the UK to have underfloor heating which works with an overhead heating and ventilation system to improve passenger comfort and increase foot room for passengers sitting in window seats.
They 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.
The Class 720 5-car trains will eventually replace the Class 317 and Class 379 Electrostar units that currently run on West Anglia Routes. The Class 317s were built between 1981 and 1987, whilst the Electrostars are just ten years old.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia client and programme director said: "We’re delighted that customers on our West Anglia route can now enjoy these new trains – especially coming at a time when more people are being encouraged to return to the office. We’re confident they will significantly improve their journeys, whether it be for work or leisure."
The trains can also be coupled together to form 10-car units. Network Rail are planning to lengthen the platforms at Hertford East to accommodate the longer trains, although this will require the removal of the listed signal box at the eastern end of the station. However, this will require a ten day closure of the line from 22nd to 31st October.
Departure times for the new trains are 9:09, 11:09, 13:09, 15:09, 17:09., 19:09, 21:09 and 23:09. All other services are operated by legacy rolling stock at 09 and 39 past the hour, with additional trains running at peak hours.
Greater Anglia's entire fleet of trains will be replaced by Summer 2022, by which time the service will be managed by Great British Railways.
Updated 26/8/21 to add further photos and include details of train departure times.
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