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New trains for Greater Anglia shown off in the virtual reality world

PUBLISHED: 16:16 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:16 14 November 2017

Paul Geater trying the VR headset. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

Paul Geater trying the VR headset. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

Archant

Greater Anglia passengers have had a chance to get a 3D virtual reality look at the three types of new trains to be introduced between 2019 and 2020.

They were given the chance to wear a special headset at Ipswich station to see what the new InterCity, suburban, and rural trains would be like once they have entered service in 2019.

Passengers were able to see the outside of the three trains and then to look inside – and even sit on real seats while they used the headset.

It was the closest people can get to the new trains before they enter service between May 2019 and May 2020 – leading to a total transformation of the timetable in December 2019.

The first Stadler-built Intercity trains are now under construction at the company’s factory in Switzerland. They are already building the aluminium shells.

Eventually 20 12-car Intercity trains and 38 rural trains will be built in Switzerland while 111 suburban trains will be built for Greater Anglia by Bombardier in Derby.

The Intercity trains will each have 750 seats – the current trains have seats for 537 – while the 10-carriage suburban trains will have 1,100 seats. The five-carriage suburban trains will have 540 seats.

Greater Anglia deputy managing director Mike Kean was as Ipswich station to show off the virtual reality trains.

He said: “These trains will really transform our rail services and we are really looking forward to their introduction.”

In May 2019 the new electric/diesel units would start running through trains from Lowestoft to Liverpool Street and seven months later new timetables with faster services – including trains reaching Ipswich in 60 minutes and Norwich in 90 would be introduced.

Mr Kean said: “Things are now starting to happen. The first units are being built in Switzerland but it does take some time to get all the new trains into service.

“We really hope people will like what they see with this virtual reality demonstration – and that it gives them an idea of what our new trains will be like.”

The exhibition is touring the region between now and Christmas. It is at Norwich on Friday, Cambridge next Thursday, November 23, Liverpool Street on December 8, Chelmsford on December 19, and Colchester on December 21.

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