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Survey looks to shape train needs for Harlow commuters

Politics / Sat 8th Jul 2017 at 12:58pm

network-rail

Consultation feedback will help shape region’s new trains to passenger needs

OVER 1,000 people took part in a consultation about the design of Greater Anglia’s brand new trains and their feedback will now be used as the trains enter production.

Greater Anglia is replacing every single train with brand new state-of-the-art trains from 2019-2020.

The train company published the initial designs of its new trains online, asking people for their views. A “mock-up” of the new Stadler train, which will operate services on the mainline, regional routes and Stansted Express, was also shipped from Switzerland to its Norwich Crown Point Depot so people could get a taste of the new trains first hand.

Over 50 stakeholders from groups such as Greater Anglia’s customer panels, the Stakeholder Advisory Board, rail user groups, local authorities, chambers of commerce, local enterprise partnerships, community rail partnerships and cycling groups, including the Greater Anglia Cycle Forum, attended special tours.

Rail passenger bodies such as Transport Focus and London Travelwatch, plus disability groups and the Department for Transport have also been involved and consulted in the process.

Visitors to the Stadler mock-up liked the seating layout, plug points and USB ports, large windows, easier access onto and through the train, new customer information systems, and the separate dedicated areas for wheelchair users and bicycles.

They have also raised constructive suggestions about some aspects of the seating, signage and labelling and marking out of the cycle area.

The online public consultation about both types of new train, including the Bombardier-built trains which will operate on suburban and some main line routes, has generated comments about seating design, provision of seat backs tables, seat alignment to windows and signage around areas with tip-up seats or cycle areas, all of which will be fed back and help to shape the final design.

Mike Kean, Franchise and Programmes Director, Greater Anglia, said: “Our priority for the new trains was to involve the public and stakeholders fully in the design process and we are pleased that this extensive consultation process has resulted in so much useful feedback which will inform and shape the final design.

“We will report back on how we’ve responded to comments and feedback and we are looking forward to transforming train services in East Anglia. The introduction of new trains will not only transform customers’ journeys, but lead to shorter journey times, more seats and and make our service more reliable – generally making our customers lives a little easier.

“Every single route operated by Greater Anglia is due to benefit from the biggest-ever investment in trains in East Anglia, in a programme which will have wider benefits for the regional economy.”

The £1.4 billion investment in 169 new trains – 1043 carriages in total – will see every train fitted with free high-quality Wi-Fi, at-seat plug and USB points, air conditioning and modern passenger information screens, in bright new carriages with comfortable new seats.

The new trains programme is currently progressing well and on schedule.

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