Rail boss: 'Passengers will notice many changes'
- Credit: Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia has refreshed its entire Stansted Express to London Liverpool Street service with new electric trains since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The train operator introduced the first of 10 new, longer 12-carriage Stansted Express electric trains, built by Swiss company Stadler, last July.
Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles said: “As we follow the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, I’m looking forward to welcoming back our customers, many of whom haven’t travelled with us for over a year.
"I’m sure they’ll notice many changes including new trains and improved stations.”
The trains, which have come in on a staggered basis over the past few months, each have 767 seats compared with the 418 seats available on the eight-carriage trains previously operating the services.
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There are also improved passenger information screens as well as a lower floor and a retractable step at every door.
Since March 2020 Greater Anglia has made eight timetable changes, compared to the usual two a year, to reflect the changes in passenger numbers.
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The operator has also completed its project to replace old equipment and install improved information screens and CCTV cameras at 132 stations.
Mr Burles said: "We’ve seen record-breaking punctuality, building on strong performance in 2019.
"Latest figures show that just under 95 percent of our trains have run on time in the last 12 months."
Social distancing measures introduced at all stations range from one-way systems to platform markings.
Mr Burles added: “In the last year we’ve invested £600,000 in cleaning and sanitising our trains and stations.
"We’ve recruited new staff and bought new powerful equipment and detergents including fogging guns and vacuum cleaners which clean the air as well as floors and upholstery.”
When the pandemic started the train operator redeployed its on-board catering teams into enhanced cleaning roles.
Greater Anglia’s retail systems team were also asked to help deal with 55,000 requests for refunds as commuters followed advice to stay at home.
Mr Burles said: “I’m tremendously proud of my colleagues at Greater Anglia and the things they’ve achieved in the last year to keep the railway running, both now and for the future."