British Rail Class 755
|British Rail Class 755 FLIRT|
755407 at Thetford in 2020
|In service||29 July 2019 - present|
|Constructed||2018 - 2020|
|Number built||38 units|
|Depot(s)||Crown Point TMD|
|Line(s) served||East Anglia regional routes|
|Car body construction||Welded, with extruded aluminium profiles|
|Height||3.95 m (13.0 ft)|
|Low-floor||960 mm (38 in)|
|Maximum speed||100 mph (160 km/h)|
|Prime mover(s)||Two (3-car) or four (4-car) 16L Deutz V8|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV AC 50 Hz (OHLE)|
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Multiple working||Within class|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The British Rail Class 755 is a class of bi-mode multiple unit 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 that would join the FLIRT family. These new trains were classified as Class 755s with the order composing of 14 three-car 755/3 sets and 24 four-car 755/4 sets with intention to replace the diesel Class 153, 156 and 170 fleets. Alongside the related electric multiple units of Class 745, the units will be maintained at Crown Point TMD.
The plan was for the units to be assigned to Greater Anglia's more local and regional routes throughout in 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 unit they replace, the 755s have more seats, plug and USB sockets, faster Wi-Fi, air conditioning and improved passenger information systems. Given 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 the trains finally entered service on 29 July 2019.
As more units have gradually entered service, it has allowed Greater Anglia to withdraw all of their diesel multiple units in favour of the 755s and as of October 2020, all 38 of the units have entered service. The delay in all units entering service has been caused by multiple faults on the units, which have earned the units the nickname of "Basils" after Basil Fawlty by staff at Crown Point TMD.
The Class 755 has three or four passenger vehicles, along with a separate power pack vehicle containing two or four Deutz V8 16 litre diesel engines and generators. All vehicles are linked by Jacobs bogies, with the end bogies being motored. 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 755 416 was approaching a level crossing at New Rackheath, Norfolk at 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) when the barriers lifted as the train was 220 yards (200 m) from the crossing and cars started crossing in front of the train. Despite emergency braking, the train was unable to stop until 250 yards (230 m) after it had crossed the level crossing. A collision was avoided by a quarter of a second. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch opened an investigation into the incident. In response, Greater Anglia imposed a temporary 20 miles per hour (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 was 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.
|Class||Operator||No. Built||Year Built||Passenger Cars per Set||Unit nos.|
- Class 745 - A similar class of electric multiple units also being built by Stadler Rail for Greater Anglia (not Bi-Mode).
- (in Italian) BTR 813 - First Bi-Mode version of Stadler FLIRT multiple unit railcar.
- "Bi Mode Multiple Unit - Greater Anglia" (PDF). Stadler Datasheet. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- "FIRST VIEW OF SWISS-BUILT BI-MODE UNITS FOR GREATER ANGLIA". The Railway Magazine. 16 May 2018.
- RAILNEWS. "Greater Anglia unveils the future with Stadler mock-up | Railnews | Today's news for Tomorrow's railway". www.railnews.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
- 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". 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 Magazine. 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 | Greater Anglia". www.greateranglia.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
- Barrow, Keith (15 November 2018). "First Stadler Flirt UK for Greater Anglia arrives in Britain". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- "May introduction planned for Greater Anglia Class 755s".
- Clinnick, Richard (29 May 2019). "June introduction target for Greater Anglia's new Stadler bi-mode trains". Rail Magazine. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- "Interoperability authorisation of Stadler Class 755/4 multiple units - Authorised 30 May 2019" (PDF).
- "New Greater Anglia Class 755 enters traffic". www.railmagazine.com. 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. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- Clinnick, Richard. "Greater Anglia's new Stadler rolling stock". Rail. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. 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. Mortons Media Group. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- "Report 15/2020December 2020Rail Accident ReportNear miss between a passenger train and cars at Norwich Road level crossing, New Rackheath, Norfolk 24 November 2019" (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- "New trains investigated after shocking near miss with car at level crossing". Eastern Daily Press. Archant Media Ltd. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "Near miss at Norwich Road level crossing". Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Bristow, Tom. "Citrus oil - Greater Anglia's secret ingredient to get its new trains back on track". Eastern Evening News. Archant Media Ltd. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
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