Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond yesterday officially launched a fleet of 30 new trains which will provide 11,000 more seats a day for commuters.
The 120 extra carriages will run on National Express East Anglia (NXEA) services from London to Stansted Airport and Cambridge. They represent the first new trains which form part of the 2,100 extra carriages the Government is introducing to the UK’s rail network by 2019.
Philip Hammond, unveiling the first trains of the new fleet at Liverpool Street station said: “We cannot afford not to invest in Britain’s future - even at a time of severe pressure on public spending - and that’s why we are investing £185m in these new trains for the East of England. Our national plans for over 2,100 extra carriages for our commuter railways will increase capacity, ease overcrowding and make our railways fit for the 21st century.
“These new trains will also be faster and greener than the older rolling stock they replace.”
Andrew Chivers, Managing Director, National Express East Anglia said: “I am delighted to introduce these new trains, providing thousands of extra seats and improved travel comfort for our customers on the Stansted Express and Cambridge to Liverpool Street services. This has been achieved through a positive partnership-led approach with the Department for Transport and been delivered well in advance of the London 2012 Olympics. This partnership over the last three years has also delivered other infrastructure enhancements across our East Anglia network such as additional car parks and new carriage washers.”
Services on the NXEA rail network were boosted in the December 2010 timetable with the introduction of 68 extra carriages which were cascaded onto the route. The additional 120 carriages, which will be introduced onto the network in time for the December 2011 timetable represents a total of 188 extra carriages, which will increase the number of available space for passengers on the network by 20% during weekday peak hours.
Tim Durham, Managing DirectorRail Capital, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets, commented: “Seeing the first of these new Stansted Express trains ready for service is a reminder of the value a long-term relationship can deliver for our customers and their business. This commitment is now delivering a very concrete improvement to the journeys of thousands of local and international passengers. Rail assets provide great benefits to the economy and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets is committed to making similar investments where it makes financial sense.”
Andre Navarri, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Transportation, said: “I am delighted to see our new train launched into passenger service. I am exceptionally proud of the Bombardier team at Derby who have not only delivered this unit on schedule, but have ensured that the quality of this train is superb. We look forward to the continuation of our long and fruitful relationship with National Express.”