UK Office of Rail and Road (ORR) granted Stadler the approval for the 24 four-car bimodal Flirt BMU for Greater Anglia. This is a milestone for Stadler, as it is the first Flirt train in the UK to receive an authorization for placing the train into service (APIS).
The test runs with the train for use in the UK only began at the beginning of 2019. Thanks to the excellent cooperation between Greater Anglia, Abellio, Rock Rail, Stadler and the authorities, the approval was obtained in record time.
The trains are now undergoing the remainder of the testing and commissioning programme which needs to be completed before the trains can enter passenger service later this summer.
The train type approval for the 14 three-car bimodal Flirt and the 20 twelve-car Flirt EMU is expected towards the end of summer 2019.
With 20 per cent more seats, which have been designed to be as comfortable as possible, trains will feature low flooring to make them accessible for people in wheelchairs and with pushchairs. Windows will be bigger and ‘picture style’ to improve the passenger experience and create a more airy and spacious feel.
Mobile phone reception will be better and plug and USB sockets will be installed at every seat. Wifi will be free and faster than previously. All trains will be fully air-conditioned and have disabled toilets and bicycle spaces.
Stadler will supply 58 new trains which will be leased to Greater Anglia and financed by Rock Rail East Anglia, a JV between Rock Rail, Aberdeen Standard Investments and GLIL Infrastructure.
The contract, awarded in 2016, sees Stadler build and deliver 14 class 755/3 three-car and 24 class 755/4 four-car BMUs, ten 12-car class 745/0 EMUs and ten 12-car class 745/1 EMUs. The new fleet will replace Greater Anglia’s existing Intercity, rural and Stansted Express trains.
Under the contract, Stadler will also be responsible for maintaining these units at Crown Point depot in Norwich.