New trains finally roll into service on link to coast
PUBLISHED: 13:37 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:29 07 November 2019
Long-awaited new trains are finally being brought into service on the Norwich-Sheringham line.
Greater Anglia started running the longer, three and four carriage trains on the 7.15am service from Norwich to Sheringham, which returns from Sheringham at 8.22am, on Wednesday.
The rail firm has vowed to bring more of the new trains into service on the Bittern Line before the end of the year.
The news will come as a relief to many commuters, who have faced flooded and over-crowded single-carriage trains in recent months.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia's managing director said: "We're delighted to introduce new trains on another of our routes - and we're sure customers on the Bittern line will appreciate longer trains with all mod-cons.
"This line is important for people travelling for work, business and also leisure, so we're confident our new trains will have a positive impact on the local economy, providing more capacity for the busy summer season and special events - as well as greatly improving our customers' journeys with us."
The new 'bi-mode' trains made by Swiss firm Stadler are powered by diesel and electricity and feature more seats, free wifi, air conditioning and better information screens and accessibility features.
The rail firm is started replacing all of its trains in July amid growing frustrations of some passengers on the service.
In one incident on September 6 a leak saw water pour into carriages, causing large puddles on the carpet between the aisles.
Also in September, a 16-year-old girl fainted on a Norwich-bound, hot and crowded single-carriage train.
Richard Allen, from Worstead, said Greater Anglia should start using the new trains on all Bittern line services as soon as possible.
Mr Allen has had to drive his two children to school in Norwich three times this term because single-carriage trains on the line have all been full by the time they got to Worstead.
He said: "There is light at the end of the tunnel, but the service in the meantime is not good enough. One morning train was cancelled on Wednesday and another was reduced to a singe carriage again - that's not good service."
Earlier this year, Greater Anglia spent £1m replacing the platform at Sheringham station to accommodate the new trains.
Martino Celeghini, project manager at Stadler, said: "We are pleased to see the bi-modes gradually being introduced into passenger service. These trains can switch easily from diesel to electric mode. They are innovative, environmentally-friendly, relying on state-of-the-art diesel-electric technology."
A formal launch to celebrate new trains going into service on the Sheringham route is being planned.
The Bittern line goes via Salhouse, Hoveton and Wroxham, Worstead, North Walsham, Gunton, Cromer and West Runton.