We have enough trains, says Greater Anglia

 Aventra on test near Ipswich.

A new Alstrom Aventra train on test near Ipswich. - Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has so far received 14 of its new Aventra suburban trains - but has sent 90 of its old electric commuter units back to their owners for re-use or scrapping.

At present, the rail company is operating a reduced service during lockdown because fewer people are able to travel.

However, its officials insist that even after restrictions are eased they will have enough trains to go around.

The new trains are being built in Derby by Alstrom, which took over Bombardier Transportation at the end of January.

As well as those already in service, there are dozens of Aventras in store waiting to be activated.


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A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said: "We are confident that when the full timetable is reintroduced, we will have more than enough trains to provide a full service.

New trains are coming into service all the time - but each one has to be tested individually before it is accepted into revenue-earning service.

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So far, the new Aventra trains are being operated on lines from Liverpool Street to Southend, Braintree and Southminster - but the first revenue-earning services are expected to operate to Ipswich, Colchester and Clacton later this year.

Greater Anglia will eventually have 133 five-carriage Aventra trains for all its suburban services - which will replace 188 trains built by different manufacturers dating back to the 1980s.

A Class 360 electric unit at Ipswich Station

Greater Anglia's Siemens Desiro trains have gone to the East Midlands. - Credit: Paul Geater

The company has lost its 21 Siemens Desiro trains built between 2002 and 2005 to sister company East Midlands Railway. They will now provide services from London to Corby.


Greater Anglia Class 321

Some Greater Anglia 321 units will be converted to hydrogen power. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Some of its Class 321 are to be converted into hydrogen-powered trains but others have been sent to scrapyards to be dismantled.

A 1981-built Class 317 electric unit.

The oldest units, Class 317s, are likely to end up being scrapped - Credit: Greater Anglia

The company has also lost some of its Class 317 trains, which mainly operate on the lines from Liverpool Street to Cambridge and date back to 1981.

They are all expected to be scrapped except for one or two, which could be saved as museum pieces.

At present, trains can only be used by people who have to make essential journeys.

That is likely to remain the case until restrictions on travel are eased, which is currently due to happen on April 12.

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