The New Greater Anglia Franchise - How We're Making Your Journey Better

The new Greater Anglia franchise, which runs until 2025, will transform rail journeys over the next few years.

There’s going to £1.5 billion of investment over the franchise; here’s a brief rundown of what we’ve got planned.

New trains

Every single carriage currently running on the Greater Anglia network today will be replaced with brand new carriages, built in Derby by Bombardier (660 carriages) and by Stadler in Switzerland (383 carriages). All will feature superfast WiFi, air conditioning and plug sockets as standard. In total, the fleet size will grow by about 10%, allowing us to run longer and more frequent trains.

Stadler Flirt

External livery for the new Stradler Flirt, Greater Anglia train

Bombardier Aventra

External livery for the new Bombardier Aventra, Greater Anglia train

New timetable

There’ll be a completely new timetable too, which will offer more frequent and reliable services. Off-peak, there’ll be nearly a third more trains every hour. Key highlights include:

  • ‘Norwich in 90’ will achieved by two trains each way, heading to London in the morning peak and to Norwich in the evening peak/early evening. ‘Ipswich in 60’ will be achieved by one train each way per day. Norwich will also benefit from a third train each hour to London in the off-peak.
  • We will speed up certain Cambridge to London trains, with a fastest journey time of 61 minutes, and start serving the new Cambridge North station.
  • There will be an extra off-peak train each hour from Hertford East and Southend to London.
  • There will be big improvements on regional routes, including increased frequencies, better connections, later trains and more Sunday services. All this will help us to deliver the increased capacity to meet the needs of a growing railway.

Investing in our stations

You’ll see the benefits of our £60 million programme to refresh all our stations. We’ll paint, repair and give them a deep clean to bring them up to the standard our customers expect. In addition, we’ll be installing over 1,000 extra seats at stations across the network, new or refurbished waiting rooms at 16 stations, and new waiting shelters at 13. There will be significant upgrades at Broxbourne, Cambridge, Cheshunt, Harlow Town and Southend Victoria.

A new deal on fares

We’ll be introducing new ‘Flex Carnet’ tickets, which will offer discounts to customers who travel by train regularly, but not every day. On-the-day Advance tickets will allow customers to book cheap, train-specific tickets up to ten minutes before the departure of their train. Finally, Club50, a railcard for the over 50s will be introduced.

Performance of a lifetime

We know performance is key to our customers, which is why we’ll be introducing an alliance with Network Rail, who manage the tracks and signals our trains run on. This will jointly focus our efforts on improving punctuality of the train service. Punctuality is set to rise from 89% of trains on time today to 92.9% by the end of the franchise.

We are proud to be running East Anglia’s railway for the next nine years, and look forward to delivering the transformation that we’ve committed to. By 2021, you’ll see a railway that’s unrecognisable from the one today; a railway that works for the region and its people.

FAQs

Most fares are regulated by the Department for Transport, so will only go up in line with government policy.

All the staff transfer over from Abellio Greater Anglia to Greater Anglia, so you’ll see all the same friendly faces you’re used to!

Yes. Station upgrades will start in the first 15 months of the franchise, and from January 2017 we’re leasing 72 extra carriages to lengthen trains on the West Anglia and Great Eastern routes. Plus most of the existing trains will be fitted with WiFi over the next couple of years. Our tougher targets for customer experience and punctuality start from day one, so you’ll see plenty of change before 2020.

Yes. The Stansted Express will be upgraded to brand new trains and there’ll be earlier trains in the morning so people can catch the earlier flights from the airport. Even better, fares will fall and new group rates will be available, making the train even better value whether you’re on your own or with your mates. If you’re heading from Norfolk to the airport, you’ll be able to use our new direct service to Stansted from Norwich when we extend the existing Norwich to Cambridge trains in 2019.

There’ll be a package of benefits for our important feeder lines. Firstly, all routes will benefit from brand new trains, which will all be at least three carriages long – meaning there’ll be plenty of space for everyone onboard. Some routes, such as Peterborough to Ipswich, will see a more frequent service, while some others should benefit from better connections or journey time improvements.