Class 720s set to begin East Anglia duties in March 2019

Greater Anglia will introduce Bombardier-built five-car Class 720 electric multiple units from March next year.

According to Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan for the Anglia Region, the five-car EMUs will be introduced initially on the Great Eastern Main Line, followed by ten-car ‘720s’ on the West Anglia Main Line the following month. GA has 89 five-car and 22 ten-car Class 720s on order.

These will be followed in late April by the first Stadler EMUs entering passenger traffic, likely also on the GEML.

In May 2019, the first Stadler bi-mode units will enter traffic. GA has yet to confirm where these will run first.

A timetable rewrite is planned for December next year, to take advantage of the infrastructure upgrades in Anglia and delivery of the new trains.

The Strategic Business Plan states that all of GA’s new fleet will be accepted by March 2020, and that the final members of the existing GA fleet will be withdrawn by August 31 2020. The final trains to go are expected to be the 30 Class 379s in use on the West Anglian and Stansted Express routes.

GA has 1,043 new vehicles on order, split into 169 new trains. This allows the operator to replace its entire fleet.


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  • FrankH - 19/02/2018 15:12

    13 months is a long time to go. Anything could happen to delay things and usually does in this country.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 19/02/2018 22:08

    As the Class 379’s are to be replaced by the Class 720’s. Could ScotRail inherit the Class 379’s to replace the Class 318’s or could Great Northern use the Class 379’s to work alongside the Class 387’s. Or possibly transfer the Class 379’s to Birmingham to replace the Class 323’s.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 20/02/2018 00:27

    Greater Anglia could retain some of the Class 321's (Renatus) to operate on Wickford-Southminster, Colchester-Walton-on-the-Naze and Manningtree-Harwich Town branch lines in Essex. Despite the Class 720's will replace them. The issue is that at Wickford station bay platforms 1 and 4 is short and may not be ideal to accommodate a 5-car Class 720 train. Unless the bay platforms at Wickford could be extended to accommodate a 5-car train that would operate on the Wickford-Southminster (Crouch Valley) branch line.

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