First Anglia ‘Aventra’ rolled out at Litchurch Lane

SEPTEMBER 13 saw the first of 665 Class 720 EMU vehicles for Abellio Greater Anglia (GA) unveiled to stakeholders and the media at Bombardier’s Derby Litchurch Lane works.

Three part-finished cars from five-car set No. 720501 were displayed, offering visitors a glimpse of the next generation of East Anglian commuter train.

Bombardier is building 89 five-car Class 720/5s and 22 10-car Class 720/1s for routes radiating from London Liverpool Street to Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Bombardier Class 720 EMU No. 720501 in the commissioning shed at Litchurch Lane Works. BEN JONES

The first completed set will start dynamic testing towards the end of this year and is due to begin tests with GA in the first quarter of 2019. GA expects to have the first ‘720/5s’ in passenger service next autumn.

All 111 sets should be in traffic by 2020, replacing BR-built Class 317s and 321s dating from the 1980s and early 1990s, plus more recent Siemens Class 360/1s and Class 379 ‘Electrostars’.

The ‘720s’ are designed to provide maximum seating capacity for busy commuter routes. They have 24-metre bodyshells and 3+2 seating throughout with flip-down seats in the vestibules. A ‘720/5’ has 495 Standard Class seats plus 53 flip-down seats (including four in the wheelchair space).

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