New trains for region
AFTER a week of misery on the route between East Anglia and London, rail operator 'one' was today showing off the trains it hopes will transform travel to the capital.
THEY might be more than 20 years old but these revamped carriages are the hope for the future of rail travel into London.
After a week of misery on the route between East Anglia and London, rail operator 'one' was today showing off the trains it hopes will transform travel to the capital.
The rail company, which took over rail services in East Anglia in April last year, is about to introduce the first of 14 refurbished trains on its InterCity route to London.
The trains are longer and, the company hopes, likely to be more reliable than the existing services.
The carriages date from between 1979 and 1982 - the current trains were built in the early 70s to a design dating from the 1960s.
Peter Meades from 'one' said: "The mark three carriages we are introducing are substantially better than the mark two stock they are replacing.
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"They are longer, so more people can travel, and their suspension and air-conditioning is much better than the mark two stock.
"Passengers should notice a big difference."
The first mark three carriages were introduced in the region when the new company was launched - but the launch train had not had the full refurbishment that is now being carried out.
And some mark three carriages have already been introduced before they are sent off to workshops in Derby for the full refurbishment. These are trains in the Virgin red livery which have become familiar over recent months.
The first of the new sets are due to arrive back in East Anglia next month - with new trains then being introduced on a more or less monthly basis until August next year.
Mr Meades said the new carriages - and the class 90 locomotives that haul them - should be much more reliable than the older stock.
But he said that many of last week's rail problems - overhead wire problems at Brentwood and Ingatestone on Wednesday and Thursday as well as Friday's signalling problem outside Liverpool Street - were not caused by 'one' trains but by infrastructure which was the responsibility of Network Rail.