Greater Anglia has commenced services with two of its new Class 745 Stansted Express trains 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 28 July.
The new, longer Stansted Express trains have 767 seats – an increase of 83 per cent on the 418 seats available on the eight-carriage trains currently operating the services. They also have plug and USB sockets, free fast Wi-Fi, air conditioning and improved passenger information screens.
Accessibility is also improved, with a lower floor and a retractable step at every door to bridge the gap between the train and platform.
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transfer the current Stansted Express trains on to other West Anglia services, enabling some of the older trains to be withdrawn from service.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 Stansted Express trains are part of a £600 million 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.