Southend Council has confirmed its much anticipated new electric pier trains will be in place by February, six months later than was originally planned.
The £3m fleet is currently undergoing testing while its drivers are trained, with councillors hoping the ecocarriages could be in service as early as next month.
“We want them ready as soon as possible,” said cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism and planning, Carole Mulroney. “A lot of work has to go into testing them, and making sure they are safe and ready for the public.”
“I am hoping they can be done in January, and by the February half-term if not, as that’s about six weeks away.” The new trains will replace the pier’s existing blue diesel models, which have been in service since 1986, and will offer USB points and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.
Originally due for installation in summer, delivery was pushed back after a fault was discovered with the paint used for the distinctive green and cream livery.
“We will make an announcement about when it will enter public service once all the driver training and settling in period is complete,” said Martin Terry, cabinet member for the pier. “We expect this in the next few weeks, but are unable to put a firm date until all the checks have been completed.”