New trains make debut on Suffolk route from Ipswich to Felixstowe
PUBLISHED: 11:53 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 19 November 2019
The first new Greater Anglia train operating on Suffolk routes out of Ipswich has gone into service on the Felixstowe branch.
The four-carriage bimode train replaced the usual single car on some services to the resort - a move welcomed by most of the passengers on board.
News of the new arrival spread quickly after it entered service on the 6.04am from Ipswich to the coast - so by 9am many members of the East Suffolk Travellers' Association had tried out the long-awaited new train.
They have already entered service on routes from Norwich to Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Cambridge and Sheringham. Over the next few weeks they are expected to start running from Ipswich to Lowestoft, Cambridge and Peterborough.
At present half the Greater Anglia bimode (running on electric or diesel power) four-car trains are in service. There are also some three-car bimodes being tested.
By the end of next year all the company's branch line and cross-country services will be operated by the new trains.
Most of the passengers seemed to like the new trains on the first day of their operation between Ipswich and Felixstowe.
Peter Cogar from the East Suffolk Travellers' Association had heard about the arrival of the new trains the previous day and was determined to be on one of the first services.
He said: "I am very impressed by this. The Felixstowe branch has had problems with services over the last two years. I'm sure these trains would help to bring people back on board."
Georgia Mayo and Ian Morley joined the train at Westerfield and were surprised when the new bimode turned up. "This is much better than we have been used to! We use the trains quite a bit and if they are all like this then I'm sure more people will use them," Mr Morley said.
But Adrian Howlett from Ipswich was not sure about the seats on the new trains: "I heard they were a bit stiff and I can see what they mean. I might bring a cushion on if I was going on a long journey. But they seem quiet and smooth - and go along very well."
Greater Anglia introduced the trains with a "soft launch" but are expected to announce their arrival on the East Suffolk lines with more of a fanfare when they start running to Lowestoft as well over the next few weeks.