Stadler was awarded a £600m contract in October 2016 to supply 58 Flirt UK sets in regional (class 755) and inter-city (class 745) variants. The order comprises 10 12-car EMUs for London - Norwich services; 10 12-car EMUs for Stansted Express airport services; 24 four-car bi-mode (diesel and electric) trains for regional services; and 14 three-car bi-mode trains for regional services.

The first train to arrive at Velim is a four-car class 755/4 set (No. 755404) and Stadler says the three- and 12-car variants will also visit the Czech facility over the next four months. Testing of the trains began at Stadler’s test centre in Erlen, Switzerland, in May. In addition to these locations, tests will also be carried out at Faurei in Romania and Halle in Germany.

Electrical, braking, traction system, noise and electro-magnetic compatibility testing is taking place at Velim.

Stadler says testing trains simultaneously at several locations with different specialisms means production can be carried out as efficiently as possible.

The class 755s are due to be introduced in mid-2019 and the entire fleet will be in passenger service by the middle of 2020, enabling Greater Anglia to dispense with its class 153, 156 and 170 DMUs.