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Abellio to run Cambridgeshire trains until 2025

By Ben Comber

Cambridges train station.
Cambridges train station.

Read Abellio’s gift list for Cambridgeshire train users.

Cambridgeshire improvements

Two additional fast trains per hour off-peak: 1 train serving Bishops Stortford and 1 train serving Cambridge

A new station at Cambridge North with at least 2 trains per hour throughout the day, one of which operates direct to and from Liverpool Street

One additional evening peak service from Liverpool Street to Ely

Hourly services between Ipswich and Peterborough (currently every 2 hours)

One additional morning peak round trip between Ipswich and Cambridge allowing an hourly service to operate throughout the day

Almost all hourly services between Norwich and Cambridge are to be extended in the new franchise to provide a direct service to and from Stansted Airport

Earlier first service from Cambridge to Norwich and 1 additional evening service from Norwich to Cambridge

The Department for Transport have confirmed that Abellio will run the next East Anglia rail franchise from October 16, 2016.

The operator have pledged a £1.5bn investment that will completely replace one of the oldest train fleets in the country.

They will start refurbishments and increase the capacity of trains, and will introduce 1,043 new electric and bi-mode vehicles by 2020.

Dominic Booth, Managing Director for Abellio UK said:"This is a very exciting time for the railways across the Greater Anglia region. We are delighted to be able to build on the hard work of all our colleagues at Abellio Greater Anglia over the past four years. This announcement will now enable us to deliver the world-class rail network that the region deserves.

East Anglia improvements

32k more seats into London in the morning peak – up from 58k to 91k (55% increase)

1,144 additional weekday services (13% increase)

Improved journey times, including some trains achieving Norwich in 90 minutes and Ipswich in less than 60 minutes

Free WiFi on all new and refurbished trains and at every station

Improved punctuality, with Public Performance Measure improving from 89.7% to 92.9%

Investment in the local economy and jobs with £120m spend on depots, including a new maintenance facility at Manningtree

More jobs - 20 trainees per year & a minimum of 30 apprenticeships by 2019

£60m on improving stations, with major schemes at Broxbourne, Cambridge, Cheshunt, Harlow and Southend Victoria

Digital customer information screens at all 131 stations

Improved ticket offices and more ticket vending machines

1,800 additional car parking spaces and 4,000 additional cycle parking spaces.

"Our ambitious plans, that include the replacement of the entire Greater Anglia fleet in the largest privately-funded train order in the UK, will give the people of the Greater Anglia region a railway that is unrecognisable from today."

Jamie Burles, Managing Director of Abellio Greater Anglia, said:"This package of improvements will deliver transformational change across our entire network in a relatively short period of time. We can't buy new trains 'off the shelf', but we are making sure that customers see improvements early in the new franchise.

"We look forward to supporting the economic growth of what is one of the UK's fastest growing regions to deliver a world-class railway service that our customers, our colleagues and our stakeholders can be proud of.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 deal also secures 1,000 jobs into the next decade as the Bombardier factory in Derby takes on one of the biggest orders for British-built trains - almost £1 billion for 660 carriages.

Des McKeon UK Commercial Director at Bombardier Transportation said:"We're delighted to be chosen, pending final contract signing, as the preferred supplier for new trains for the East Anglia franchise.

"We look forward to working with our customer the Abellio UK, to support them in transforming rail services throughout the region and delivering an enhanced customer experience through the provision of new trains.

"It's a great endorsement of Bombardier's next-generation AVENTRA train family, which offers maximum flexibility, to serve many different market requirements from metro to intercity."

You can see the upgrades to the Cambridgeshire lines online.


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