Greater Anglia announces changes to first class arrangements

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Greater Anglia is no longer selling First Class tickets for journeys on regional routes across the network.

New longer trains with more seats and no First Class seating area have replaced older trains on the Norwich to Cambridge and Ipswich to Cambridge routes and will shortly start running on the Ipswich to Peterborough line.

First Class tickets on other routes across the network will remain on sale until 6 September 2020, from when they will only be available on the intercity route between Norwich and London.

By September, Greater Anglia’s new Bombardier trains should have replaced many older electric trains which run between Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Ipswich and London Liverpool Street.

The new Bombardier trains, which are all either five or ten carriages long with many more seats than the company’s existing trains do not have First Class seating areas.

The first Bombardier train is expected to go into passenger service next spring.

Bombardier has ramped up production at its Derby factory, after production of the new trains has taken longer than Bombardier originally expected, which has had a knock-on effect on Greater Anglia’s schedule.

From September 2020, First Class seating will only be available on Greater Anglia’s brand-new intercity trains, made by Swiss manufacturer, Stadler.

First Class seating will be “declassified” on any existing old trains still on the network from 6 September.

First Class annual season ticket-holders will be able to change over to a standard class season ticket at any time without financial penalty.

Martin Moran, Greater Anglia commercial, customer service and train presentation director, said: “After listening to customer feedback and analysing growing passenger numbers and railway capacity, we’ve taken this step to make journeys better for the vast majority of our customers.

“Our new trains are all longer and more modern than our old trains. They have more seats, USB and plug points, free fast wifi and better passenger information screens, creating a better travelling experience for everyone.

“We planned to bring in these changes across the network from January 2020, but since we have more of our old electric trains on the network than predicted, we’ve pushed it back until we expect to have a large number of new trains in passenger service.”