Abellio to run rail services for Harlow for another nine years

Politics / Wed 10th Aug 2016 am31 08:37am

ABELLIO Greater Anglia is to run rail services in the region for the next nine years after being awarded a £1.4bn contract by the government.

The new service for rail passengers through promises to deliver more than 1,040 new state of the art carriages and cut journey times by an average of 10%.

It will also deliver one of the biggest orders for British-built trains, almost £1 billion for 660 carriages from the Bombardier factory in Derby, as part of a contract that will secure 1,000 jobs into the next decade.

Key benefits of the new franchise include:

At least four 90 minute services (two in each direction) between London and Norwich each weekday and two 60 minute services per day between London and Ipswich;

Free WiFi for all passengers on trains and at stations;

1,043 new, state of the art carriages between January 2019 and September 2020 to support the faster timetable, with a full programme of refurbishment for the current fleet in the meantime;

Automatic ‘delay repay’ for season and advance purchase tickets;

Tough new targets for operational performance levels at 93% – up from 89.7% currently; and

A host of new ticketing initiatives, starting in October 2017, including new offers for part time users and those who don’t travel every day.

By 2021, there will be more than 32,000 more seats on services arriving at London Liverpool Street in the morning peak, while the new franchise will introduce 1,144 additional weekday services– an increase of 13% – to stations including Ipswich, Norwich, Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, and London Liverpool Street.

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.”

Mr Grayling is to travel to Derby, the home of Bombardier – Britain’s largest rail manufacturer – to make the announcement which is likely to include a multi-million-pound order for new trains.

Dominic Booth managing director of Abellio UK said: “This is great news not only for Abellio but for the whole of East Anglia. We are pleased to become preferred bidder to deliver a transformation in rail services across the region.

“It will enable us to build on the successes of the two short East Anglian franchises we have run since 2012, and we commend the DfT in running a transparent and rigorous procurement process.

“Our plans will greatly improve our customers’ experience with faster and more reliable journeys on new trains with higher frequencies and reduced journey times, to support the socio-economic well-being of East Anglia, one of the country’s most successful and fastest growing areas.”

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