Abellio holds on to Greater Anglia franchise until 2016

Abellio Greater Anglia is to continue operating services until October 2016 after agreeing to extend the current franchise.

Announcing the agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT), Abellio outlined a raft of improvements, which amount to more than £20 million, it has committed to delivering in the next two years.

Projects include an overhaul of trains operating on the Great Eastern Main Line, station upgrades at Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and Chelmsford, and the installation of controlled emission toilets (CET) on all intercity carriages.

Jamie Burles, managing director of Abellio Greater Anglia, said: “Our programme of initiatives includes a major refresh for the intercity trains on the Norwich – London route; a new Cambridge – Stansted service; Sunday service improvements on a number of routes and the start of what we hope will be an ongoing upgrade for rolling stock on the Great Eastern and West Anglia commuter services.

“Not only will the improvements provide a better service for passengers, they also support economic development and give greater connectivity for local communities, enabling sustainable growth across the region we serve.

“We will continue to work closely with stakeholders, including local authorities, politicians, business organisations and rail user groups, to progress achievable improvements in the short term and build the business cases to secure major enhancements to services – especially to rolling stock and rail infrastructure such as track, signalling, overhead line – in the medium to longer term.”