This coming Monday will be the last day that Greater Anglia’s old Class 321 trains will be in regular commuter service, as the 30-year old trains are being replaced with newer models.

After this Monday (3rd April), just a handful of those older trains will remain available for use, for a few more weeks, but only as short notice spare trains or to provide flexibility in the event of disruption or other unplanned developments.

Class 321 passes Sniveller’s Lane (c) Greater Anglia

On Monday 3rd April, their final day in regular service, Class 321s are scheduled to be used on services between Colchester and Walton-on-the-Naze throughout the day, so anyone wishing to take a last trip on one before they are withdrawn from regular service is encouraged to take a final trip whilst they can.

From then on, any deployment of the Class 321 trains in normal service would only be on an ad hoc, short notice basis, as appropriate.

To mark the end of the old trains in regular service, Greater Anglia previously announced a Class 321 Farewell charity charter train on Saturday 29th April, to mark the eventual withdrawal of the trains completely from the Greater Anglia network.

The event, aimed primarily at rail enthusiasts, will run from London Liverpool Street to Clacton, Walton, Harwich Town, Stowmarket, back to Shenfield, to Southend Victoria and finally back to London Liverpool Street, covering many of the core routes with which the Class 321s have been closely associated for much of their life.

The price for this one-off trip, which takes place on Saturday 29th April is £70 (or £35 for children aged 5-15).

Tickets can be booked from here, or on 0345 600 7245 — choose option 3, followed by option 2 to find out more details.

The Class 321 electric units have been used on suburban and commuter services in East Anglia for over 30 years, but are now being replaced by new Class 720 trains, which have a number of benefits for passengers, including more seats, plug and USB points, enhanced performance characteristics and better accessibility arrangements.

Already 101 of the new Class 720 suburban trains are in service, operating the vast majority of Greater Anglia’s commuter and local services in Essex and Hertfordshire, along with services between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge and stopping services between London Liverpool Street and Ipswich.

Meanwhile, 10 new intercity electric trains are running between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London, 10 new electric trains are operating Stansted Express services between the capital and the airport, and 38 new regional bi-mode trains are operating local services across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and on the Marks Tey to Sudbury branch.

Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs, Greater Anglia said: “The last day of pre-planned, scheduled use of the Class 321 trains in normal service, on Monday, marks the start of the last phase of our transition to a Greater Anglia network fully operated by new trains.”

“In the meantime, anyone wishing to bid their farewells to the Class 321s has a chance to do so with their final planned use in service between Colchester and Walton-on-the-Naze on Monday 3 April and on the Class 321 Farewell charity charter train on Saturday 29 April.”

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3 comments
  1. Joe Bow says:

    What a waste of money refurbishing them a few years ago for them to now be scrapped I imagine perfectly good trains with AC Traction , A/C and USB 3 pin plug sockets the like very sad

  2. Jamie marsh says:

    Such a shame they’re all going to be scrapped, I get they’re old but it would’ve been nice to see some preserved on heritage railways.

  3. Jamie marsh says:

    I loved seeing this trains, I used to call them “smilers” cause they always looked like they were smiling when they went past.

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