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Better journeys for rail passengers and boost for Derby train industry

Enhanced services and faster trains across East Anglia franchise including new trains from Bombardier.

A fully modernised rail service with British-built carriages providing faster trains, more seats, free Wi-Fi for all users and tough new performance targets is unveiled by the government.

The new service for rail passengers across East Anglia promises to deliver more than 1,040 new state of the art carriages and cut journey times by an average of 10%.

It will also deliver one of the biggest orders for British-built trains – almost £1 billion for 660 carriages from the Bombardier factory in Derby – as part of a contract that will secure 1,000 jobs into the next decade.

The government has announced it has awarded the franchise to Abellio East Anglia, who will oversee this £1.4 billion investment to local rail services.

Key benefits of the new franchise include:

  • at least 4 90-minute services (2 in each direction) between London and Norwich each weekday and 2 60-minute services per day between London and Ipswich
  • free Wi-Fi for all passengers on trains and at stations
  • 1,043 new, state of the art carriages between January 2019 and September 2020 to support the faster timetable, with a full programme of refurbishment for the current fleet in the meantime
  • automatic ‘delay repay’ for season and advance purchase tickets
  • tough new targets for operational performance levels at 93% – up from 89.7% currently
  • a host of new ticketing initiatives, starting in October 2017, including new offers for part time users and those who don’t travel every day

By 2021, there will be more than 32,000 more seats on services arriving at London Liverpool Street in the morning peak, while the new franchise will introduce 1,144 additional weekday services – an increase of 13% – to stations including Cambridge, Norwich, Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, Southend and London Liverpool Street.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

“We are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era. By awarding this franchise to Abellio East Anglia we will improve journeys for people in East Anglia.

Abellio’s decision will ensure our train building industry in Derby remains strong.

This is part of our plan to make an economy that works for everyone – not just the privileged few – by ensuring prosperity is spread throughout the country.”

The Author

Gemma Gaughan
Media Researcher
BiP Solutions

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The Author

Gemma Gaughan
Media Researcher
BiP Solutions

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