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

Mikey C

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The aisles on 720's seem way too narrow. A great way of cramming more 'seats' in , but very rare do you see the 3-seat sections fully occupied, people seemed to prefer to stand than be squashed in between 2 other people.
The middle seats on Networkers always seem well used

And it does have the advantage that if the train isn't full, passengers on the 3 side can space themselves apart, with the aisle seat person "sprawling" into the empty middle seat
 
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Bikeman78

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Starting with the front off is already in use elsewhere on the GA network for 720s (and 755s), Meridian Water will be no different.
Is there anywhere that 720s terminate and reverse at a short platform?
 

47421

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Given that the trains are so late arriving, one might have hoped that the infrastructure would have been sorted by now. If the 720s had been delivered as planned, there would be a lot of them standing idle now.
See below from Franchise Agreement. Should have been done by 1 September 2018. But GA failed to deliver on most of the things they promised - Train Service Requirement 2 was May 2019 with extra services to Hert East and Southend and extension of the Liv St Ipswich to Norwich. None of which are now expected to happen. TSR3 full recast with most services speeded up was due 2020. Now recast on GEML will see tiny improvements only and on West looks like no changes til East Coast recast happens which will be 2023 earliest.

As an aside every time I go there I look in amazement at platform 2 at Tott Hale, which was built in 2018 as 8 car max despite the fact that by end of 2019 there was due to be zero 8 car trains stopping there. I think it was a £170m or so project to build the new siding from Lea Bridge to Meridian Water. How much does anyone think was saved by not extending the new Tott Hale platform face to 12 car length as per the adjoining platform?

TottHale.jpg

105. Infrastructure upgrades

105.1 By no later than 1 May 2019, the Franchisee shall make all necessary changes to the infrastructure of the Stations (including relevant associated infrastructure surrounding such Stations) in order to accommodate the Passenger Services as set out in TSR2 and the Franchhisee shall incur a minimum expenditure of [REDACTED120] in doing so.

105.2 Pursuant to paragraph 105.1 such changes to the infrastructure shall include such infrastructure works at each of Hertford East, Wickford, Manningtree, Kings Lynn, Elsenham, Ware, St Margarets and Enfield Lock Stations as are necessary to enable any Passenger Services comprised of 10 rolling stock vehicles to call at such Stations by no later than 1 September 2018
 

Ianno87

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As an aside every time I go there I look in amazement at platform 2 at Tott Hale, which was built in 2018 as 8 car max despite the fact that by end of 2019 there was due to be zero 8 car trains stopping there. I think it was a £170m or so project to build the new siding from Lea Bridge to Meridian Water. How much does anyone think was saved by not extending the new Tott Hale platform face to 12 car length as per the adjoining platform?

What is the benefit of extending to 12-car, given that any train using it will only be between Stratford and Meridian Water, so pretty unlikely to be packed to the rafters? Is a token extension a good use of taxpayers' money, when SDO is entirely practical?
 

Railperf

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If commuter levels don't increase and the structure allows for it, removing the third seat for a 700-style wide aisle would make a lot of sense.
CAn the 3rd seat be easily removed? And who will pay for it?

What is the benefit of extending to 12-car, given that any train using it will only be between Stratford and Meridian Water, so pretty unlikely to be packed to the rafters? Is a token extension a good use of taxpayers' money, when SDO is entirely practical?
Stratford to Meridian water services are packed in the peaks as far as Tottenham Hale - where people connect to other services.
 

47421

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What is the benefit of extending to 12-car, given that any train using it will only be between Stratford and Meridian Water, so pretty unlikely to be packed to the rafters? Is a token extension a good use of taxpayers' money, when SDO is entirely practical?
I wondered how long it would be before you would say that. Just seems odd to build it to a length that when it was being built no longer corresponded to the lenght of any trains due to use it within months of it being open.
Some would say SDO front v back is not that practical. The main flow from Meridian Water is to Tott Hale to access Victoria line, and most boarding at Meridian Water will have to walk through train to be able to exit.
Anyway it is all academic, as noted above, as the rail industry has failed to deliver all the other enhancements required for 10/12 cars on West Anglia as set out in the 2016 Franchise Agreement.
 

Ianno87

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CAn the 3rd seat be easily removed? And who will pay for it?


Stratford to Meridian water services are packed in the peaks as far as Tottenham Hale - where people connect to other services.

Stratford-Hertford/Stortford services are pretty packed. I have personally never seen the MW service anything even close to "packed", even south of Tottenham Hale.

I wondered how long it would be before you would say that. Just seems odd to build it to a length that when it was being built no longer corresponded to the lenght of any trains due to use it within months of it being open.
Some would say SDO front v back is not that practical. The main flow from Meridian Water is to Tott Hale to access Victoria line, and most boarding at Meridian Water will have to walk through train to be able to exit.
Most people boarding at MW will walk along the platform/down the train before it departs to be in the right place to get off at Tott Hale.
 

Alfie1014

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Problem is the MW services interwork with the Stortfords, not least to keep platform occupation at Stratford to the minimum.
 

Peter Mugridge

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720 589 ( at least that's what it looked like... ) is currently in the north yard at Wembley so is presumably the next delivery.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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720559 has entered service and is my 2002 to Ipswich today.

I have the following down as not entered service yet (/5)

501*, 502*, 503*, 504*, 505*, 506*, 507*, 508*, 509*, 510*, 512, 513*, 514*, 516*, 518*, 519*, 520*, 521*, 523*, 524*, 525*, 526*, 527*, 528*, 529*, 530*, 531*, 532*, 533*, 534*, 535*, 541*, 544*, 545*, 546*, 554*, 555*, 560*, 565*, 567*, 568*, 569*, 570*, 571*, 572*, 573*, 574*, 575*, 576*, 577*, 578*, 579*, 580*, 581*, 582*, 583*, 584*, 585*, 586*, 587*, 588*, 589*

The others are definitely operational, I myself having been on all apart from 551 and 563.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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720559 has entered service and is my 2002 to Ipswich today.

I have the following down as not entered service yet (/5)

501*, 502*, 503*, 504*, 505*, 506*, 507*, 508*, 509*, 510*, 512, 513*, 514*, 516*, 518*, 519*, 520*, 521*, 523*, 524*, 525*, 526*, 527*, 528*, 529*, 530*, 531*, 532*, 533*, 534*, 535*, 541*, 544*, 545*, 546*, 554*, 555*, 560*, 565*, 567*, 568*, 569*, 570*, 571*, 572*, 573*, 574*, 575*, 576*, 577*, 578*, 579*, 580*, 581*, 582*, 583*, 584*, 585*, 586*, 587*, 588*, 589*

The others are definitely operational, I myself having been on all apart from 551 and 563.
Oop having said that, I’ve just encountered 560 on the 1930 from Southend Victoria
 

Paul Jones 88

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I've been on a few of those now, they are great trains and I'm impressed with them, however, they are so so quiet that you can hear every mobile phone and other irritating passengers noise wherever you sit.
 

Class 170101

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Don’t think 720’s have operated on the Harwich branch in service yet, the bay at Mannintree looks like it would need signalling alterations even with SDO?

I've seen photos of one off the platform but behind the starter signal at Manningtree.
 

Ianno87

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Had my first ever ride on a 720 this morning on the 0747 Cambridge-Liverpool Street. General ambience quite pleasant, excellent performance, but my word they’ve really packed the seats in!

Seat was a bit too solid for my liking (and a firm ride sat over the bogie), and from the perspective of somebody who personally uses the Liverpool Street run to get their laptop out, a bit of a downgrade for me given the lack of space in the airline seat, *but* I can see them being well received for shorter Lea Valley journeys.
 

Class360/1

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went trainspotting at marks tey today for roughly an hour and I saw lots of 5 car formations and not a single dusty bin (321). their introduction has clearly been ramped up now.
 

KC1

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The aisles on 720's seem way too narrow. A great way of cramming more 'seats' in , but very rare do you see the 3-seat sections fully occupied, people seemed to prefer to stand than be squashed in between 2 other people.

Barely any different to the 3+2 seating on the 377s to be honest and they’ve been around for 20 odd years.
 

mtmikethom

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Even the 1948 Liverpool St - Harwich International is a 720 tonight, first time I have seen one on a Harwich service. I suspect there may be a lot of single unit 720’s about from tomorrow on Ipswich & Clacton services, the Southend’s seem to be all double units though
 

Railperf

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So far this morning only single 5-car units operating - including Southends
 

47421

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0838 Meridian Water - Stratford 710548 this AM, first time I have seen one in Meridian Water bay

back in the timetable today, 0833 LivSt - Camb off 0618 Kings Lynn - Liv St was a 12 car 379. First time seen 12 car 379 for a long while
 

mtmikethom

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So far this morning only single 5-car units operating - including Southends
There are a number of comments on the GA Twitter feed today regarding trains cut from 8/10 (or 12 pre pandemic) to 5 coaches, probably from Chelmsford & Southend line passengers. Probably a few more later as the previously 10 coach recent 1902 (slightly later pre pandemic) Ipswich stopper has disappeared from the timetable.
 

Alfie1014

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First passenger services on both the Harwich and Walton branches today. For example 720543 worked the ‘new’ 16:17 Liv St to Walton on the Naze. Lots of 5 cars about though. Also as a bonus 755404 worked the second evening peak diagram on the Harwich branch which was also reintroduced from today.
 

Wivenswold

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There are a number of comments on the GA Twitter feed today regarding trains cut from 8/10 (or 12 pre pandemic) to 5 coaches, probably from Chelmsford & Southend line passengers. Probably a few more later as the previously 10 coach recent 1902 (slightly later pre pandemic) Ipswich stopper has disappeared from the timetable.
I realise that WA drivers were trained on 720s and would have needed refreshers had they not been introduced on the West Side but it really does spread the fleet of 29 720s very thinly. I can only hope there's an incoming ramp-up of deliveries. I make it 7 into service so far in September 538/552/559/560/563/566/568* which is promising.

*Happy to be corrected, my notes are a mess.
 

Astro_Orbiter

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Pretty sure 558 is out I think I was on it the other day, could be mistaken though.
It's time they started spreading out evenly to start getting rid of 321 and 317, the latter of which are majorly clapped out
 

Ianno87

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Amazing run on 1743 LivSt Camb tonight - gained a full 16 minutes Cheshunt - Camb

such a shame that wont be any timetable improvements until 2023 or whenever


Are you sure it's not because it omitted stops, particularly after Bishop's Stortford? Some very short dwells recorded.
 

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