Tuesday 19 November 2019

First Flirt For Felixstowe

Today saw the introduction of the new Greater Anglia class 755 Stadler bi-mode trains on the Ipswich to Felixstowe branch line. I may have mentioned I like these trains, really like them, in fact they are by a street the best new train I've been on in the last 20 years. It seems the good people of Felixstowe think so too, as they appeared to be revelling in the comparative vastness of the Stadler - known as a Flirt (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) to the one coach class 153's which have been the staple diet of the Felixstowe branch for many years.

I just happened to be out and about when news reached me of the debut, and I thought it merited some attention. So here is a selection of photos I took at various points along the route, culminating in a video.

We start in Ipswich;

Departing Ipswich for Felixstowe
At Ipswich with a class 156, soon to be replaced
Looking quite small on the 12 car platform at Ipswich.
Moving onto Derby Rd;

The Stadler enters Derby Rd Station
At a stand..
...and departing.

On the other platform heading for Ipswich
Next stop Trimley;

755412 passes over Trimley Crossing

And departs the station
Finally Felixstowe;

At Felixstowe Station

The distance view at Felixstowe

Preparing to depart Felixstowe
Over the next few weeks I will be extensively covering the transition from the old stock to the new. Not just when the new stock is introduced but also covering the last days of the old stock, as the exercise of replacing an entire fleet on this scale may not happen again very soon, and I consider it important it is reported and archived. So check in regularly as there will be two or three posts a week.

Now, as promised, the video of the day, shot at Ipswich, Trimley and Felixstowe.


  1. Unfortunately I have one complaint about them , the seats above the bogie . They need a warning about going base over apex when you find the step .

  2. Another round of cuts and changes by First Essex from January. A significant cut is the Colchester. , Clacton, Walton on the Naze service 97, 98. This though is being picked up by Hedingham

    1. I do usually find the logic of First Essex changes difficult to fathem, for an operator that struggles continually for resources they seem intent on wasting so many of them.

      Nothing new, but the logic of increasing and expanding the Clacton services at the same time as withdrawing the rest of the local network always escaped me. Passengers were never going to magically appear, but it took resources from growing areas elsewhere in the business. First logic. At least now there will be competition for East Colchester which the rest of their disappointed passengers can only dream of! And perhaps help to clear the decks for the eventual sale to Go-Ahead?

      So good luck to Hedingham for the future. Hopefully Go-Ahead have learned lessons from their Norfolk experience. As far as the future for First, who knows? I can't see any end to their local struggles with both resources and congestion. The developers and Council subsidies on which they are relying will run out before long, and what then? I'm not sure they have any idea. So expect even more of the same going round in circles in the name of recovery, just confusing everyone. And for the passengers no closer to getting a bus service they can rely on. So what's the point?