First view of Swiss-built bi-mode units for Greater Anglia

The first Stadler bi-mode unit for Greater Anglia, No 754001, in the Commissioning Hall at Erlen, Switzerland.

GREATER Anglia (GA) has shown the trade press the first bi-mode multiple unit (BMU) which is being built by Stadler in Switzerland.

When Abellio won the re-tendered franchise which will run from October 2016 to 2025, it announced a major fleet upgrade comprising of 1,043 new vehicles that would be formed into 169 multiple units to be in service by 2020/1. This is the largest single order for units to be placed on behalf of a UK franchise, and of these Stadler will built 58 units. These are the first units the established Swiss manufacturer has produced for UK operations. The order is worth £600m and is financed by leasing company Rock Rail.

The bi-mode unit will be built in both three- and four-car formations and will seat 167 passengers (144 seats and 23 tip-up seats) and 229 passengers (202+27 tip-up) respectively.

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The glass reinforced plastic (GRP) cab front of a Class 755 bi-mode unit.

Designated Class 755/3 and 755/4, 14 three- and 24 four-car units are on order and these will be used on regional services out of Norwich to Sheringham, Cambridge, Ipswich to Lowestoft, Marks Tey-Sudburyas well as on through services from London to Lowestoft or Great Yarmouth. GA also plans to introduce a Norwich to Stansted Aiport service as an extension of the Cambridge service.

The units also include a novel ‘power pack’ which eliminates the need for underfloor engines and is future proof, being able to harness alternative technology.

The ‘power pack’, as Stadler calls it, for the bi-mode unit which houses four Deutz V8 16litre diesel engines. This unit is for a four-car set, the three-car will have two engines. Both feature a corridor connection which passengers can walk through.


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The second bi-mode unit under construction, alongside an SBB Class 522 FLIRT EMU.



Full story in the June issue of The Railway Magazine, on sale June 6.

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