Greater Anglia highlights key East Anglia rail infrastructure priorities

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Train operator Greater Anglia has set out the key East Anglian rail infrastructure upgrade priorities which it believes need to be delivered over the next decade.

The company’s Managing Director Jamie Burles is writing to stakeholders across the region (including MPs, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, chamber of commerce and rail user groups) to seek their support in making the case to government, ministers and other key decision makers for the investment to be made available to Network Rail to implement ten key schemes within the next ten years.

The new Greater Anglia franchise includes transformative upgrades for train services in the region, with the entire existing rolling stock fleet replaced by brand new trains in 2019/2020. This major investment also enables some significant timetable and capacity enhancements. However, to truly realise the full benefits of this fantastic commitment to rail’s role in the region, for customers, communities and the wider economy, some key rail infrastructure upgrades need to be delivered over the next decade.

Greater Anglia believes those priorities, which are consistent with the East Anglian Rail Prospectus and the aims of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, the West Anglia Taskforce, the Ely Taskforce and the Felixstowe – Nuneaton strategic freight network project, are as follows:

Felixstowe – Peterborough (and Nuneaton)

Haughley Junction upgrade (to enable more frequent and reliable services)

Ely area upgrades (including Ely North Junction, Queen Adelaide level crossings, re-signalling and bridge strengthening, to enable more frequent and reliable services)

Ely – Soham double tracking project (to enable more frequent freight and passenger services)

Great Eastern Main Line (Norwich – Ipswich – Colchester – Chelmsford – London)

Haughley Junction upgrade (to enable more frequent and reliable services)

Trowse Swing Bridge replacement (with a fixed double track bridge, instead of the current single track swing bridge to enable more frequent and reliable services)

Long loops between Colchester and Witham (to allow fast trains to overtake slower full length freight or passenger trains, helping to improve reliability and journey times)

Digital re-signalling Colchester to London (to enable more frequent services)

West Anglia Main Line

Capacity upgrades to enable 4 trains an hour between Angel Road and Tottenham/Stratford

Four-tracking of the West Anglia route from Copper Mill Junction to Broxbourne as the first stage of the Crossrail 2 scheme (to enable more frequent services, quicker journey times and better reliability)

Other key projects

Wider level crossing upgrade programme (to improve reliability and journey times)

London Liverpool Street capacity increases (platform and concourse upgrades to accommodate increasing passenger numbers)

Greater Anglia has already been working with Network Rail and other stakeholders to prioritise, and start making the case for, the delivery of the ten key projects (the Haughley Junction project appears twice as it is affects both the Felixstowe – Peterborough/Nuneaton and Great Eastern Main Line routes).

Jamie Burles Managing Director for Greater Anglia said: “We are looking forward to the transformation of train services in East Anglia when we bring in a complete new fleet of trains in 2019/20, but to fully realise the benefits of that £1.4 billion investment, we need to see a parallel transformation in the region’s rail infrastructure.

The business case is strong for such investment in a region which contributes positively to national GDP and where financial premiums from operating East Anglia’s train services help finance the operation of other rail services across the rest of the UK rail network. We have set out a targeted list of priorities, which will make a major difference to reliability, connectivity, journey times and service development.

The collective effort of ourselves and stakeholders across the region helped secure a fantastic outcome to the franchise renewal process with the biggest investment ever agreed for trains in East Anglia. We now need to maintain that sustained, collaborative, constructive approach to secure a similarly positive outcome for rail infrastructure investment over the next 10 years and thereby enable Network Rail to upgrade the network and maximise the benefits for customers, communities and wider stakeholders across the region. We will be playing our part in trying to achieve these important rail upgrades.”