New trains on Bittern line within weeks
PUBLISHED: 15:27 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 17 October 2019
New longer trains with more seats will be operating on the Bittern Line that links Norwich to Sheringham within the next few weeks, rail bosses said.
It comes after rail operator Greater Anglia was criticised for running crowded single-carriage trains on the line.
A Greater Anglia spokesman said: "We've been testing our new trains on the Bittern Line and they're due to go into passenger service between Norwich and Sheringham in the next few weeks.
"We're currently replacing every train in our fleet with a brand new one. New trains are longer, with more seats, plug and USB sockets, free and fast wifi, air conditioning, passenger information screens, and improved accessibility features."
It comes about a month after parents hit out at the rail company after a 16-year-old girl collapsed on a crowded and hot single-carriage train.
Student Ellie Branston-Tilley fainted on the journey from Cromer to Norwich after she and others were forced to stand on the service.
Greater Anglia apologised, and said that running one-carriage trains during busy periods was sometimes unavoidable due to operational reasons.
Meanwhile, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb met Greater Anglia bosses this week to make clear the extent of passengers' frustration with the service.
He said: "They told me their target to bring in the new trains across the board was the end of the year, but there could be some slippage. A hiccup with IT caused a slight delay, but they said they have resolved that and are back on track.
"They said that, if they gave a specific date for when the new trains would be operating, they would be criticised if it were not met.
"But they said once the new trains on the Sheringham line were running, even when it was just one additional train in the fleet, it would immediately start to increase their flexibility and room for manoeuvre, so there would be less occasions when single-carriage trains were in use.
"They also said they'd had unprecedented troubles including a train hitting deer. I urged them to keep communicating so that people weren't left in the dark."