|British Rail Class 755|
|In service||29 July 2019 – present|
|Assembly||Stadler Bussnang AG|
(14 × 755/3, 24 × 755/4)
|Depot(s)||Crown Point (Norwich)|
|Line(s) served||East Anglian regional routes|
|Car body construction||Aluminium|
|Height||3.915 m (12 ft 10.1 in)|
|Floor height||960 mm (3 ft 2 in)|
|Doors||Double-leaf sliding plug, each 1.300 m (4 ft 3.2 in) wide|
(1 per side per car)
|Wheelbase||Bogies: 2.700 m (8 ft 10.3 in)|
|Maximum speed||100 mph (160 km/h)|
|Prime mover(s)||Deutz 16-litre V8 (2 per 755/3, 4 per 755/4)|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead|
|Multiple working||Within class (max. 3 units)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Sourced from  unless otherwise noted.|
The British Rail Class 755 FLIRT is a class of bi-mode multiple unit passenger train built by Stadler Rail for Greater Anglia. Part of the FLIRT modular train family, the trains first entered service on 29 July 2019 and are used on regional and local services throughout East Anglia.
In August 2016, Greater Anglia was awarded the East Anglia franchise with a commitment to replace all of the existing fleet with modern trains. As part of this an order was placed with Stadler Rail for 38 bi-mode multiple units from the FLIRT family. The order was financed by rolling stock company (ROSCO) Rock Rail. These new trains were classified as Class 755. The order was made up of 14 three-car 755/3 sets and 24 four-car 755/4 sets, intended to replace the diesel Class 153, 156 and 170 fleets. Alongside the related electric multiple units of Class 745, the units are maintained at Crown Point TMD.
The plan was for the units to be assigned to Greater Anglia's more local and regional routes throughout Norfolk and Suffolk, which include the Wherry Lines (Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft) and the Bittern Line to Sheringham. The units would also be assigned to services on the Breckland Line and on the Ipswich–Ely line, as well as the Felixstowe and Sudbury branch lines. Compared with the diesel multiple units they replace, the 755s have more seats, mains and USB sockets, faster Wi-Fi, air conditioning and improved passenger information systems. Because the trains have power-packs to contain the diesel generators, the floor is lower than usual, providing better accessibility to wheelchair and pushchair users.
The first unit was delivered to the UK in November 2018 which gave an initial entry into service date planned for May 2019. By May 2019, the trains had not been authorised to enter service yet and instead were given a service date for the end of June or beginning of July. Following this, the trains were authorised to enter service on 30 May 2019 by the ORR and they finally did so on 29 July 2019.
As more units gradually entered service, Greater Anglia was able to withdraw all its diesel multiple-unit trains in favour of the 755s. All 38 of the units have entered service. The delay in all units entering service was caused by some initial multiple faults ("result of disruption due to a mixture of train faults and a problem with the signalling system on the Norwich-Sheringham line").
Class 755 units have three or four passenger vehicles, along with a separate "Power Pack" vehicle near the centre of the unit that can be fitted with up to four Deutz 16-litre V8 diesel engines and generators. Class 755/4 units have four engines, while 755/3 units have two (mounted diagonally opposite each other).
All vehicles are linked by unpowered Jacobs bogies, while the outermost bogie at each end of each unit carries the traction motors. The unusual layout for a British train allows a lower than normal floor level, enabling step-free boarding at standard-height platforms. Pantographs are mounted on the intermediate cars.
Accidents and incidents
On 24 November 2019, unit 755416 was approaching a level crossing at New Rackheath, Norfolk at 45 mph (72 km/h) when the barriers lifted as the train was 200 m (660 ft) from the crossing and cars started crossing in front of the train. The driver of 755416 initiated an emergency brake application, but the train was unable to stop until it was 230 m (750 ft) beyond the level crossing. A collision was avoided by less than half a second.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch opened an investigation into the incident. In response, Greater Anglia imposed a temporary 20 mph (32 km/h) speed restriction over six level crossings on the Bittern Line. The cause of the incident was contamination of the track interfering with detection of the train by track circuits. The equipment had been set to open the crossing 16 seconds after a loss of signal.
As a result of the incident, flange lubricators were removed from the class. The equipment operating the level crossing was reset to open the level crossing 99 seconds after a loss of signal. A computer program on the train was rewritten to remove a 10-second delay in the application of sand in the event of wheelslide. The frequency of Rail Head Treatment Trains over the Bittern Line was increased from weekdays only to daily during leaf-fall season.
On 30 January 2022, unit 755331 became stranded between Reedham and Haddiscoe due to damaged track on the Haddiscoe Cut section of the Wherry Lines. Five passengers aboard the unit at the time were evacuated with no fatalities or major injuries. Following repairs, the line was reopened on 5 February.
|Subclass||Operator||Qty.||Year built||Passenger cars||Unit nos.|
- Class 745 – A similar class of electric multiple units also being built by Stadler Rail for Greater Anglia (not bi-mode).
- Class 231 – A similar class of diesel-electric multiple unit which are being built for Transport for Wales by Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail (not bi-mode).
- Class 756 – A similar class of tri-mode multiple units which will be built for Transport for Wales Rail by Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail.
- The Power Pack is technically a fourth or fifth vehicle in 755/3 and 755/4 units respectively, but as it contains no passenger accommodation it is excluded from the count of passenger cars.
- Fletcher, Steve (16 September 2019). "The Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011, as amended – Authorisation of Stadler Class 755/3 bi-mode multiple units 755325 to 755338" (PDF). Letter to Theresa Hofecker (Stadler Altenrhein AG). London: Office of Rail and Road. UK/51/2019/0016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 August 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
- Fletcher, Steve (30 May 2019). "The Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011, as amended – Authorisation of Stadler Class 755/4 multiple units, fitted with AWS and TPWS (stand alone mode only), GSM-R voice only, maximum speed of 100 mph, units 755401 to 755424, passenger operation only" (PDF). Letter to Theresa Hofecker (Stadler Bussnang AG). London: Office of Rail and Road. UK/51/2019/0008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 August 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
- Milner, Chris (16 May 2018). "First view of Swiss-built bi-mode units for Greater Anglia". The Railway Magazine. Horncastle. Archived from the original on 1 August 2019.
- FLIRT Trimodal Multiple Unit - Keolis Amey Operations/Gweithrediadau Keolis Amey Limited, UK (PDF). Bussnang: Stadler Rail Group. 7 May 2019. FWBBMU0519e. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 January 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
- Bi-Mode Multiple Unit - FLIRT - Greater Anglia, UK (PDF). Bussnang: Stadler Rail Group. 27 August 2018. FEABMU0916e. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 October 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- "Greater Anglia unveils the future with Stadler mock-up". Railnews. 7 June 2017. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Stadler and Bombardier to supply trains for Abellio East Anglia franchise Railway Gazette International 10 August 2016
- "Stadler signs largest UK order with Abellio East Anglia and Rock Rail" (Press release). Stadler Rail. 5 October 2016. Archived from the original on 27 May 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Clinnick, Richard (6 June 2017). "Greater Anglia unveils interior plans for new trains". Rail. Peterborough. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "Greater Anglia unveils the future with Stadler mock-up". Rail News. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "New trains start passenger service on Ipswich-Cambridge route" (Press release). Greater Anglia. 26 November 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
- Barrow, Keith (15 November 2018). "First Stadler Flirt UK for Greater Anglia arrives in Britain". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Clinnick, Richard (25 September 2018). "May introduction planned for Greater Anglia Class 755s". Rail. Peterborough. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018.
- Clinnick, Richard (29 May 2019). "June introduction target for Greater Anglia's new Stadler bi-mode trains". Rail. Peterborough. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "New Greater Anglia Class 755 enters traffic". Rail. Peterborough. 29 July 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- East Anglia franchise agreement Department for Transport 23 August 2016 pages 177, 178
- "The New Face of Rail in Anglia" Modern Railways issue 818 November 2016 page 12
- Place, Clarissa (3 December 2019). "New trains nicknamed 'Basil' as a host more are cancelled". Eastern Daily Press. Norwich. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- Clinnick, Richard (4 September 2019). "From the archives: Greater Anglia's new Stadler rolling stock". Rail. Peterborough. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- "Greater Anglia: The future of rail travel". Railway Technology. Cognitive Publishing. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- Milner, Chris (16 May 2018). "First view of Swiss-built bi-mode units for Greater Anglia". The Railway Magazine. Horncastle. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- Near miss between a passenger train and cars at Norwich Road level crossing, New Rackheath, Norfolk, 24 November 2019 (PDF) (Report). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. December 2020. 15/2020.
- Hannant, David (6 December 2019). "New trains investigated after shocking near miss with car at level crossing". Eastern Daily Press. Norwich. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Near miss at Norwich Road level crossing" (Press release). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. 6 December 2019.
- Bristow, Tom (10 December 2019). "Citrus oil - Greater Anglia's secret ingredient to get its new trains back on track". Eastern Evening News. Norwich.
- Weeds, James (30 January 2022). "Passengers evacuated from Greater Anglia train after track flooded". Eastern Daily Press. Norwich.
- "Train running onto a washed-out section of line near Haddiscoe" (Press release). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. 22 February 2022.
- "Train line reopens after Greater Anglia train left stranded due to flooding in Norfolk". ITV Anglia. 5 February 2022.