Greater Anglia Bombardier Aventras (Class 720): Technical discussion and introduction

mtmikethom

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6 Sep 2011
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Hertfordshire
Not immediately prior to covid 19 it wasn't. That train had been cut back to start and terminate
Not immediately prior to covid 19 it wasn't. That train had been cut back to start and terminate at Colchester.
The 1758 ex Liverpool St. & 2012 ex Colchester were most 317’s during last autumn up until the current Covid timetable cuts this January, the equivalent 1802 down & 1952 up seem to be 720’s mostly now (starts as 0520 ex Clacton I guess
 
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samuelmorris

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18 Jul 2013
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Second run on a 720 today, a Renatus 321 shortly thereafter on the way back. Some of the trademark Bombardier loose panels on what otherwise had the appearance of a brand new unit (720547 - not sure how long that one's been in service) but ride quality-wise, there's no contest. There's no real sense of speed on the 720s as the traction motors are effectively silent at speed and they just seem so stable. Compare that to trying to take a sip from a drink while passing through Ilford at 80 odd mph and nearly losing the bottle out of my hand on the 321. The announcements are still a bit of a mess, but in many ways these actually are a real quality product. Very much a fitting successor to the Electrostar, quieter, smoother and just generally a nicer place, and that's from someone that quite likes Electrostars.
 

Mikey C

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11 Feb 2013
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Second run on a 720 today, a Renatus 321 shortly thereafter on the way back. Some of the trademark Bombardier loose panels on what otherwise had the appearance of a brand new unit (720547 - not sure how long that one's been in service) but ride quality-wise, there's no contest. There's no real sense of speed on the 720s as the traction motors are effectively silent at speed and they just seem so stable. Compare that to trying to take a sip from a drink while passing through Ilford at 80 odd mph and nearly losing the bottle out of my hand on the 321. The announcements are still a bit of a mess, but in many ways these actually are a real quality product. Very much a fitting successor to the Electrostar, quieter, smoother and just generally a nicer place, and that's from someone that quite likes Electrostars.
I've only been on the Overground 710s, but they impressed me a lot
 

southern442

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20 May 2013
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Surrey
I'll be really interested to ride the 720s at speed. The only Aventra that I have been on at speed is a couple of 345s out in the Reading area, and I must say they ride a bit like a tram. I noticed a similar thing with 376s, so perhaps it is to do with the fact that they are designed for more suburban work?

Either way I am pleased to hear that the 720s are good when at high speed, it gives me a bit of hope for modern EMUs!
 

Shwam3

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13 Jun 2016
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Location
Norwich
Second run on a 720 today, a Renatus 321 shortly thereafter on the way back. Some of the trademark Bombardier loose panels on what otherwise had the appearance of a brand new unit (720547 - not sure how long that one's been in service) but ride quality-wise, there's no contest. There's no real sense of speed on the 720s as the traction motors are effectively silent at speed and they just seem so stable. Compare that to trying to take a sip from a drink while passing through Ilford at 80 odd mph and nearly losing the bottle out of my hand on the 321. The announcements are still a bit of a mess, but in many ways these actually are a real quality product. Very much a fitting successor to the Electrostar, quieter, smoother and just generally a nicer place, and that's from someone that quite likes Electrostars.
I believe 547 was accepted last week, 542 this week.
 

Railperf

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30 Oct 2017
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I'll be really interested to ride the 720s at speed. The only Aventra that I have been on at speed is a couple of 345s out in the Reading area, and I must say they ride a bit like a tram. I noticed a similar thing with 376s, so perhaps it is to do with the fact that they are designed for more suburban work?

Either way I am pleased to hear that the 720s are good when at high speed, it gives me a bit of hope for modern EMUs!
How do you mean 'like a tram'?

I would say the ride is good, but not as smooth as a regular 321. Like a lot of new stock, there are some knocking sounds underneath that seem to transmit into the floor at times, and on certain sections of track there was even vibration resonating into the cabin. The air suspension on the non Renatus 321's seems to insulate the cabin much better from track and bogie vibration - even if the ride is more 'bouncy'.
 

Goldfish62

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14 Feb 2010
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5,328
I'll be really interested to ride the 720s at speed. The only Aventra that I have been on at speed is a couple of 345s out in the Reading area, and I must say they ride a bit like a tram. I noticed a similar thing with 376s, so perhaps it is to do with the fact that they are designed for more suburban work?

Either way I am pleased to hear that the 720s are good when at high speed, it gives me a bit of hope for modern EMUs!
The 700s and 707s have similar ride quality.

It's due to the lightweight inside-frame bogies which don't give the smooth ride of heavy traditional bogies, but reduce wear on track.
 

Roger B

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16 Jun 2018
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Gatley
I was at Bethnal Green yesterday for a couple of hours or so (off-peak), and recorded 511, 515, 517, 536, 538, 542, 552, and 556, working.

720549 also worked through a couple of times, with banners at doorways saying that the train was being tested. The workings were these:
 

Alfie1014

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27 Jun 2012
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Essex
Had my first run on the ’mainline’ with a pair of these this week. Performance was not earth-shattering probably due to the driver being appropriately cautious especially on the approaches to stations. 100mph was reached in around 115 seconds from a standing start away from both Chelmsford and Witham. However the quietness and generally ambiance was notably good with ride quality very impressive except for the odd rough patch over points, certainly compared to the Renatus 321 on the outward journey. They just need a lower density layout, 1st class compartments and griddle car to make them a good successor the the 309s!
 

samuelmorris

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18 Jul 2013
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Brentwood, Essex
I can't get over the lack of a sense of speed. I found myself thinking 'this seems slow' on my last journey with one, checking the speed on a GPS app on my phone and being surprised it was indeed showing line speed of 90. The distance covered in the time passed certainly confirmed this, as the full journey from Shenfield into Liverpool Street came in at 19m41, which given that it included a stop at Stratford, is very impressive, possibly the quickest Westbound run I've ever had.
 

Shunter_69

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10 Dec 2014
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Not sure which way round but they currently alternate so one is Monday, Wednesday & Friday with the other Tuesday and Thursday.

The one that forms the 10:38 to Colchester Town today was 321’s if that helps.
 

AverageTD

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13 Aug 2017
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West London
Went on my first 720 last week, only between Stratford and Liv Street but I wasn't intentionally going out to get one, just sort of turned up. As a big critic of the current Aventra's I was actually rather impressed. The interior was pleasant enough and the seats were a massive improvement on both the refurbed and unrefurbed 321s and maybe even the 360s. The ride-quality seemed better as well compared to the backbreaking 345s, although not quite at the level of the FLIRTs or the Desiro Cities. The train definitely made me less fearful of the inevitable Aventra takeover of the South East.
 

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