At a special naming ceremony at London’s Liverpool Street station, the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, unveiled the first of the new trains that will begin to operate Stansted Airport and Cambridge services from May this year.
The 120 new state-of-the-art class 379 Electrostar cars, ordered for the National Express East Anglia network and manufactured by Bombardier at the only site in the UK building trains today, will provide a major boost in quality, comfort and reliability for the thousands of passengers who use the popular airport service every day.
To complement the introduction of the new trains, and to increase rail capacity at Stansted, work is currently underway to lengthen platforms at the airport’s railway station to allow for the operation of 12 car trains as rail demand grows in the future.
Welcoming the launch of the new Stansted Express train, Nick Barton, Stansted’s Managing Director, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see the first new train for the Stansted Express unveiled by the Secretary of State for Transport today, and we now look forward to May when we begin to welcome the new trains on the Stansted Airport service.
“Stansted is already the UK’s No1 major airport for passengers using public transport so the long-awaited introduction of the new trains is really great news. They are vital in helping us to promote the airport and deliver improvements to the passenger journey.
"The replacement of the existing rolling stock gives Stansted the newest trains serving any airport in the UK, and is a huge step in driving Stansted's importance in the key London and South East of England aviation market.
“The new trains will benefit our staff and commuters who rely on the service to get to and from work, whether from London or Cambridge. They will also be welcomed by our local communities who will be able to use these new trains and enjoy the enhanced comfort and quality they offer.”
"With the 2012 Olympics just around the corner, the welcome to Britain and the reputation of public transport in the UK will be in the spotlight like never before, but we can all be rightly proud that the Stansted Express is clearly heading in the right direction.