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FROM THE FILES: Greater Anglia Class 755 unveiled in Switzerland

755404 on test in Velim on September 6. GREATER ANGLIA.
  • This is the news articlefrom RAIL 853, when we visited Stadler's Switzerland factory and test centre to see the Class 755s being built.

Greater Anglia has 38 BMUs on order from Swiss manufacturer Stadler, with four-car 755401 unveiled at the company’s commissioning centre in Erlen.

Two more BMUs were at the company’s nearby Bussnang factory, where Stadler is building 14 three-car and 24 four-car BMUs. Also at Bussnang were 20 Class 745 electric multiple units (GA has 20 12-car EMUs on order from Stadler).

The new fleet is due to start arriving in the UK in October, with the first BMU due to enter passenger traffic next summer. Exact routes and dates have yet to be confirmed, but it is likely that a new Lowestoft-London Liverpool Street service will be the first to feature the new trains.

“These modern trains are going to transform rail travel in East Anglia - with each one fitted with more seats, plug and USB points, air-conditioning and fast free WiFi,” said GA Director of Franchising and Programmes Mike Kean.

Ralf Warwel, Marketing Director of Stadler for the UK, added: “These are powerful and comfortable trains which share many similar design and operational concepts, as well as identical components which reduces training time for drivers and maintenance staff.

“The cab desk has a spacious and open design and allows for future upgrades of signalling systems, such as digital signalling.”

Stadler is building 378 new vehicles for GA, in a deal worth around £600 million. The BMUs will be used on GA’s rural routes from Norwich-Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, as well as a new service from Norwich-Stansted Airport. They will also be used on Ipswich-Felixstowe, Cambridge and Peterborough, and a new service linking Marks Tey with Colchester Town. Additionally, BMUs will work the new Lowestoft-London direct service. The EMUs will be for the Norwich-London and London-Stansted routes.

In the first week of May, two BMUs were nearly complete (and were due to be at the commissioning phase by the time this issue of RAIL went to press). The first four-car BMU was at Erlen for commissioning (755401), although no interior was fitted.

Warwel explained: “The customer will also benefit from the fact that all engines are concentrated in a short vehicle in the middle, thus reducing the vibrations induced by the engines in the passenger areas. The unit design is also future-proof, allowing possible upgrades to full electric operation or even use of battery storage.”

The BMUs will be used to replace Class 153, ‘156’ and ‘170s’ used by GA, as well as a Class 37-hauled rake of Mk 2s. The EMUs will replace the Class 90/Mk 3 sets and Class 379s.

GA is replacing its entire fleet during the franchise, with 665 Aventra EMU vehicles also on order from Bombardier.

 

 

Post-delivery, testing and stabling issues to be resolved

Around 20 new Stadler trains will be in the UK by next summer, ready for their introduction.

“One of the things we want is the Lowestoft through service. That was one of the reasons we want the bi-mode trains first,” Greater Anglia Joint Project Manager Steve Mitchell told RAIL.

The plan is to first remove examples of the current fleet that are not fully accessible to all passengers. This would be the Class 153s and ‘170s’, as well as the Class 37-hauled ‘short set’ of Mk 2s.

Mitchell told RAIL that the BMUs will enter traffic first, with the electric multiple unit fleet not far behind.

Deliveries would be one or two trains per week. All would be delivered to Norwich Crown Point, which Stadler has taken over.

Testing is already being planned. Mitchell explained: “A large part is Norwich-Colchester - that is the farthest we go. There are also Norwich-Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth. There will be fault-free running, too, even after the commissioning. Norwich-Cambridge will also be a route, and that will test the bi-mode capability.

“A large part of the testing will be done by ourselves, but Stadler will help and SNC-Lavalin is also involved.”

Mitchell said that a lot of work is ongoing with Network Rail, ahead of the introduction of the new trains.

“We’d like to transition on the move, but at the moment that is not possible. We are looking at 19 different transition locations.”

Stabling the new trains and storing the older fleet is also an issue. GA’s planned new depot at Brantham remains on hold, and Mitchell said: “We are looking at a lot of different places for stabling - Wensum Triangle, Victoria Sidings, Parkeston Quay… lots of places are being looked at, but the plan is not fixed.”

 

Engine mix in central power car

The 38 bi-mode units are fitted with a mixture of two or four engines within a central power car.

The three-car Class 755/3s have two engines capable, while the four-car Class 755/4s have four.

Each BMU has its electric traction in the driving vehicles. Stadler Commercial Project Manager Silvio Gemperli told RAIL this means that the diesel engines could be removed if required, and that (in effect) these trains are electric multiple units with a diesel engine.

Stadler has confirmed it is looking at alternative power, and that its FLIRT design is ideal for that.

A multi-national effort to produce new units

 

Construction and testing of the 58 Stadler trains for Greater Anglia will be completed over a number of sites in a number of countries.

Stadler Commercial Project Manager Silvio Gemperli explained: “Winterthur is where all the bogies for all units are constructed.
“Bussnang is where the car body of the EMUs and the final assembly of the EMUs takes place. Final assembly of the four-car BMU sets one to three is here, too, and the powerpacks for sets one to eight, which allows for engineering interaction.

“Erlen is the commissioning centre. When a train is ‘wedded’ to its wheels, it then starts commissioning. The ‘wedding’ takes one day.”

Gemperli told RAIL that the car bodies will be fitted out at the company’s Hungarian factory at Szolnok. The very final assembly and commissioning of all 14 three-car BMUs as well as 755404-755424 will also be completed there.

He added that those not built in Bussnang will be built in Valencia (Spain). Construction of bodyshells had also begun in Poland, and these will be moved to Szolnok in due course.

Testing starts in July, with 16 trains involved using eight teams at seven locations - including Poland, Switzerland, Germany and Romania. Gemperli said the plan is for eight four-car BMUs, three three-car BMUs and five EMUs.

Greater Anglia Joint Project Manager Steve Mitchell told RAIL that the first trains will go for type testing, and then to Poland for fitting out. Three Class 755/4s will not be finished initially, and these will be used for testing. Two EMUs will also not be fully finished and will undergo testing in the same way. Mitchell plans for mileage accumulation to carry on even after they have passed their fault-free mileage targets.

 

Class 745/0 specifications

Built: 2018-19

Number of trains:  10

Maximum power at wheel:       5,200kW (6,973hp)

Mean acceleration  electric 0-40mph   0.9m/s2

Maximum speed:   100mph

Standard Class seats:       624

First Class seats:    80

Tip-up seats:         53

Toilets:        5

Floor height, low-floor:   960mm

Door width: 1,300mm

Length:       236m

Width:        2.72m

Numbers:    745001-745010

Owner:        Rock Rail

 

 

Class 745/1 specifications

Built: 2018-19

Number of trains:  10

Maximum power at wheel:       5,200kW (6,973hp)

Mean acceleration electric 0-40mph    0.9m/s2

Maximum speed:   100mph

Standard Class seats:       722

First Class seats:    0

Tip-up seats:         45

Toilets:        5

Floor height, low-floor:   960mm

Door width: 1,300mm

Length:       236m

Width:        2.72m

Numbers:    745101-745110

Owner:        Rock Rail

 

Class 755/3

Built: 2018-2019

Number of trains:  14

Maximum power at wheel:       2,600kW (3,486hp)

Maximum power at diesel:        960kW (1,287hp)

Mean acceleration electric 0-40mph    1.3m/s2

Mean acceleration diesel 0-40mph      0.7m/s2

Maximum speed:   100mph

Standard Class seats:       144

First Class seats:    0

Tip-up seats:         23

Toilets:        2

Floor height, low-floor:   960mm

Door width: 1,300mm

Length:       65m

Width:        2.72m

Numbers:    745301-745314

Owner:        Rock Rail

 

Class 755/4

Built: 2018-2019

Number of trains:  24

Maximum power at wheel (electric):   2,600kW (3,486hp)

Maximum power at diesel:        1,920kW (2,547hp)

Mean acceleration electric 0-40mph    1.1m/s2

Mean acceleration diesel 0-40mph      0.9m/s2

Maximum speed:   100mph

Standard Class seats:       202

First Class seats:    0

Tip-up seats:         27

Toilets:        2

Floor height, low-floor:   960mm

Door width: 1,300mm

Length:       80.7m

Width:        2.72m

Numbers:    745401-745424

Owner:        Rock Rail



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  • AndrewJG8918 - 06/09/2018 19:40

    As the new trains are coming to Greater Anglia. Including the Class 720 Aventra which are to replace the Class 317, Class 321, Class 360 and Class 379. You meant 10 for Stansted Express and 10 for London-Norwich Intercity with possibly extra Class 745s to be built. Plus with Class 755 Bi-Mode also to be on test run before both Class 745 and Class 755 units are to be transported by rail from Europe into the UK before they enter service from late this year or early next year. With the Class 153 & Class 156 cascaded to Northern. Class 170 to KeliosAmey Wales. And the Class 317 & Class 321 EMUs to be sent for storage. Aswell the Class 360 Desiro and Class 379 Electrostar. Could Greater Anglia were the Class 379s and use them on London Liverpool St-Southend Victoria, Braintree, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester, Walton-on-the-Naze, Harwich Town and Southminster services. And Liverpool St-Hertford East & Stratford-Bishop’s Stortford & Hertford East services. Aswell used on Wickford-Southminster, Colchester-Colchester Town & Walton-on-the-Naze and Manningtree-Harwich Town.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 07/09/2018 11:50

    The services on what these new trains will be operated on Greater Anglia once they arrive in the UK. And once the Class 720s have been built in Derby. Airport Express Class 745/0-London Liverpool Street-Stansted Airport. Stratford-Stansted Airport. Main Line Class 745/1-London Liverpool Street-Norwich (Main-line non-stop & semi-fast). Regional/Local Class 755/3 & Class 755/4-Norwich-Sheringham, Norwich-Great Yarmouth, Norwich-Lowestoft, Norwich-Peterborough via Ely, Norwich-Cambridge and Norwich-Stansted Airport. Ipswich-Lowestoft, Ipswich-Felixstowe, Ipswich-Cambridge and Ipswich-Peterborough. Colchester-Sudbury, Marks Tey-Sudbury. London Liverpool Street-Norwich via Cambridge/Ely. Great Eastern & West Anglia Commuter Class 720/0 & Class 720/1-London Liverpool Street-Southend Victoria, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester Town, Colchester, Ipswich, Braintree, Southminster, Walton-on-the-Naze, Witham. London Liverpool Street-Norwich (Mainline stopper). London Liverpool Street-Cambridge, Hertford East, Bishop’s Stortford, Harlow Town, Cambridge North, Ely, Kings Lynn and Stansted Airport. Cambridge-Stansted Airport. Stratford-Hertford East, Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge and Cambridge North.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 08/09/2018 13:21

    The engines on the Class 755 sounds like a spaceship or a jet engine on a jumbo jet. Whilst the Class 745 sounds bit like a Hitachi Class 385 & Class 801.

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