A new era for the railway in East Anglia launched across the region this week.
Abellio subisidiary company Greater Anglia is starting a new nine-year franchise to provide passenger rail services to and from London across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.
People in East Anglia can now look forward to a £2 billion package of improvements to transform rail travel in the region.
Highlights include a complete fleet of brand new trains (replacing every single train in the current fleet with a larger fleet of new trains during 2019/2020 – up from 933 carriages to 1043 carriages); more services; faster journey times; 55 per cent more seats into London in the morning peak period; initiatives to improve punctuality from 89% to almost 93%; £60 million of improvements in stations and new ticket options offering even better value for money.
The majority of major upgrades, linked to the new trains, will be delivered in 2019/2020, but there are a number of other improvements delivered over the first three years of the franchise including 72 additional carriages to provide more seats from summer 2017; free wi-fi; automatic delay repay compensation for season ticket holders and advance ticket holders from early in 2017; ticket vending machines at every station; new customer information screens and help points at every station; at least 1800 additional car parking spaces and 4000 extra cycle parking places at stations around the network; a refresh and deep clean for all stations; significant investment in reliability modifications and interior refreshes for the existing fleet of trains and more investment in customer service and the Community Rail Partnerships.
To mark the start of the new franchise, Greater Anglia is running a “Wake up to Weekdays” offer with special adult return fares – £10, £15 or £20 for off-peak travel. Children can travel for just £2 return. Tickets are available to purchase until 30 October for travel up to 30 November, including the autumn half-term period. Book online at www.greateranglia.co.uk