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The bodyshells for the first of the Class 755 Flirt electro-diesel multiple-units which Stadler is to supply for Greater Anglia's local services have been delivered from the manufacturer's Szolnok factory in Hungary to the Bussnang plant in Switzerland where they will be fitted out.
Stadler signed a £600m contract in October 2016 covering the supply 14 Class 755/3 three-car and 24 Class 755/4 four-car electro-diesel multiple-units for local services in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, as well as 10 12-car Class 745/0 electric multiple-units for London - Norwich inter-city services and 10 12-car Class 745/1 EMUs for the Stansted Express airport route. Financing was led by Rock Rail and SL Capital Partners, and the order marked Stadler's entry into the UK mainline passenger rolling stock market. Entry into service is planned from 2019.
'We’re very excited about our new trains', said Greater Anglia Managing Director Jamie Burles on January 26. 'When you see photos like this it’s possible to imagine what an amazing change to our customers’ journeys these brand-new trains will make. There will be more seats. Everyone will be able to plug in their mobile phones or laptops, and with fast free wi-fi on every train, people will even be able to Facetime their friends and family while they travel, making the most of every minute.'
Complete replacement of the existing fleet with 1 043 new vehicles was included in Abellio's succesful bid for the current East Anglia franchise, which runs for nine years from October 2016. The week before the contract with Stadler was signed, Bombardier Transporation was awarded a £900m contract to supply 22 10-car and 89 five-car Aventra suburban EMUs from its Derby plant for entry into service from 2020, financed by leasing company Angel Trains and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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