THE first carriages of brand new trains set to be used by Essex commuters are nearing completion.

Bombardier are manufacturing 111 new electric trains on behalf of Greater Anglia which will replace stock in the county and in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and parts of Suffolk.

The first batch of new trains which are set to be ten-carriages long are now rolling off the production line in Derby and are being readied for testing and commissioning.

Each train will have more seats, air conditioning, plug and USB sockets, accessible toilets, cycle spaces and wifi.

There will be underfloor heating which will work in combination with air conditioning units and customer information screens in each carriage, with details of available seats across the whole train, as well as destination data.

The first of the Bombardier trains will start to come into service in autumn next year, although people will start to see them around the Greater Anglia network from early 2019 as they undergo rigorous testing.

Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia business readiness director, who is responsible for the introduction of the new trains, said: “It’s great to see these new trains nearing completion. It’s now possible to see the huge difference they’re going to make to our commuters and other customers travelling to and from London Liverpool Street and across much of the Greater Anglia network.

“These new trains should be much more comfortable for customers, as well as more reliable.”

Alan Fravolini, portfolio director for Aventra projects at Bombardier, said: “It’s wonderful to see the first completed UK-designed and built cars roll off the production line at Derby, and is the result of a good deal of hard work and strong cooperation between Bombardier, Greater Anglia and Angel.”

Kevin Tribley CEO of Angel Trains, the company procuring and financing the 665 Bombardier vehicles, said: “We are delighted to see the first Class 720 Aventra trains come off the production line. The £900m deal Angel Trains signed in September 2016 to procure these new vehicles was one of the largest private investments into rolling stock in the last 20 years and is helping transform the East Anglia franchise. The new rolling stock will significantly increase capacity and improve passenger experience.”