British Rail Class 720

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British Rail Class 720 Aventra
In service2019 (planned)
ManufacturerBombardier Transportation
Built atDerby Litchurch Lane Works
Family nameAventra
Number under construction665 vehicles
111 units
Formation89 x 5 cars
22 x 10 cars
Capacity5-car: 540 seats, 145 standing
10-car: 1,100 seats, 290 standing[1][2]
Operator(s)Greater Anglia
Car length5 cars - 122 m
10 cars - 243 m
Maximum speed100 mph (161 km/h)
Electric system(s)25 kV AC (OHLE)
Current collection methodPantograph
Coupling systemDellner
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 720 is a class of electric multiple units to be built by Bombardier for Greater Anglia. They will be operated on the suburban lines into London.[4] All 111 trains will be introduced from 2019-2020.[4]


The units will be fully air conditioned, seat back tables and power sockets, passenger-loading / capacity indicators in passenger information system and on-train Wi-Fi.[4] The seating will be in a 3+2 arrangement, and cantilevered off the floor to create more space for bags.[5] Each five car unit will be 122 m long and provide 540 standard class seats, and ten car units will be 234 m long, and provide 1,100 standard class seats. There will be no first class accommodation in any Class 720 train.[6][7] Similarly to London Overground units, trains will have through gangways to encourage passengers to spread out across the train.[4] The trains are being financed by Angel Trains.[7][8]


In August 2016, Greater Anglia was awarded the East Anglia franchise with a commitment to replace all of the existing fleet. As part of this an order was placed with Bombardier for 89 five-carriage and 22 ten-carriage Aventra electric multiple units for use on suburban services on the West Anglia and Great Eastern Main Lines.[9][10][11] They will be built at Derby Litchurch Lane Works.[12][13]

An interior mockup was unveiled by Greater Anglia in September 2017, following a consultation which solicited 1,000 responses from members of the public.[4] Changes made included replacing the originally intended Fainsa seating with softer seating from Kiel as well as the addition of seat back tables.[4]

Production began in February 2018,[14] with the first five-car units due into service in March 2019, followed by the ten-car units beginning in April 2019.[15] The first unit was completed in September 2018.[16]


The Class 720 will resemble the Class 345 and Class 710 being constructed for Crossrail and London Overground respectively. However, owing to the services that they will operate, the 720s will be built with a faster top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h).

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Unit Unit nos.
720/1 Greater Anglia 22 2018- 10 720101–720122
720/5 89 5 720501–720589
Class 720/5 based on concept art
Class 720/1 based on concept art


  1. ^ "EAST ANGLIA FRANCHISE AGREEMENT" (PDF). p. 178. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  2. ^ UK, Archant Community Media. "Why Paul Geater is giving nine out of ten to new Greater Anglia commuter trains". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  3. ^ Bednall, Joe (June 2010). "A low impact commuter train". Rail Professional (159). p. 27.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "GA shows off Aventra mock-up". Modern Railways. October 2017. p. 13.
  5. ^ "On board a Greater Anglia Aventra". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ UK, Archant Community Media. "Why Paul Geater is giving nine out of ten to new Greater Anglia commuter trains". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b UK, DVV Media. "Greater Anglia reveals interior of Aventra commuter train fleet". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Angel secures funding to refinance Greater Anglia Aventra rolling stock". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Stadler and Bombardier to supply trains for Abellio East Anglia franchise". Railway Gazette International. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Bombardier to supply 665 Aventra trains for Abellio". 4 October 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  11. ^ Clinnick, Richard (3 April 2017). "Greater Anglia seeks passenger views on new fleet designs". Rail Magazine. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Angel Trains to finance Aventras" Rail Magazine issue 811 12 October 2016 page 18
  13. ^ "The New Face of Rail in Anglia" Modern Railways issue 818 November 2016 page 12
  14. ^ "Bombardier starts assembling Aventra EMUs for Greater Anglia". International Railway Journal. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Network Rail: Anglia Route Strategic Plan" (PDF). p. 43.
  16. ^ Barrow, Keith (13 September 2018). "Bombardier rolls out first Aventra EMU for Greater Anglia". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 18 September 2018.

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