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National Express unveils first new Class 379 Train at preview event
13 Oct 2010

The first of 30 new-build Class 379 electrostar trains for operation by National Express East Anglia (NXEA) on their Stansted Express and Cambridge – Liverpool Street routes will be officially unveiled at train manufacturer Bombardier Transportation UK’s Derby factory on Wednesday 13 October.

The new trains will enter passenger service in 2011 and form a key element of NXEA’s Service Improvement Plan agreed in conjunction with the Department for Transport as part of the high level output specification (HLOS) to deliver increased capacity on the UK rail network. NXEA was the first operator to finalise such an agreement to provide new and additional trains to meet increased passenger demand in a £155m investment package.

The Class 379 electrostar train is the first off the production line and following the preview, the train will undergo stringent tests on the dedicated test track at Vellum in the Czech Republic. Testing in the UK is due to start in January with the first train then handed over to NXEA in March next year. The new trains will then be introduced on the Stansted Express route next May and on some Cambridge to Liverpool Street services later in 2011.

The trains have a top speed of 100mph and each 4-coach train will have 20 first class and 189 standard class seats. Features include an integral internal CCTV system for passenger safety, a wi-fi network and state-of-the-art train management system.

Dean Finch, Group Chief Executive, National Express said: “I am delighted that the first of the brand new trains which will greatly transform the quality of service we offer to thousands of our customers using the Stansted Express is being unveiled today. The new trains and other improvements we are introducing through the significant investment, agreed in partnership with the Department for Transport, on capacity enhancement of the rail services into London Liverpool Street will provide our customers in East Anglia with much improved services.”

Colin S Walton, Chairman UK, Bombardier Transportation said: "We are proud to be able to reveal here today the first of our new UK built trains for Stansted Express. I am sure that National Express will be impressed with the quality of this train and I assure them that we will work tirelessly to obtain similar reliability figures to what they have come to expect from their award-winning Bombardier Electrostar trains operating on the c2c services. I look forward to continuing our long and extremely successful partnership and the new challenges that the Stansted Express services will bring."

Tim Durham, Managing Director Rail Capital, Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets commented: "We are very pleased to be investing in the new Stansted Express trains, which will improve the journeys of thousands of local and international passengers. Lloyds TSB Rail Capital remains committed to making investments in key rail assets where value can be reflected within the financial structures and where they are delivered within an asset management framework by experienced rail personnel."