We welcome the decision of the Department for Transport (DfT) to select Abellio as Preferred Bidder to run the next East Anglia rail franchise from 16th October 2016.
Abellio’s bid for the East Anglia franchise will deliver a transformation for the passenger. We will replace every one of the current vehicles with new, modern, high performing trains. This, coupled with significant journey time improvements, a 55% increase in seats into London in the morning peak and more than a thousand additional train services each week will deliver a step change in what our passengers experience day to day.
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 on 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.”
Our plans include:
- £1.5bn investment to replace one of the oldest train fleets in the country with 1,043 completely new electric and bi-mode vehicles by 2020, with additional capacity added and many existing trains refurbished
- 32k more seats into London in the morning peak – up from 58k to 91k (a 55% increase)
- More trains to more places – 1,144 additional weekday services (an increase of 13%)
- Improved journey times, including some trains achieving Norwich in 90 minutes and Ipswich in less than 60 minutes
- Free high quality WiFi on all new and refurbished trains, and at every station
- Improved punctuality, with PPM improving from 89.7% to 92.9%. Delivered through a more robust timetable, investment in infrastructure, people and process and through an Alliance with Network Rail
- Investment in the local economy and jobs with £120m spend on depots, including a new maintenance facility at Manningtree
- We will take on 20 trainees per year, with a minimum of 30 apprenticeships by 2019
- An investment programme to improve our customers’ journey experience, including: nearly £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; and nearly 1,800 additional car parking spaces and 4,000 additional cycle parking spaces.
175 years of experience has embedded in Abellio a social duty to passengers which extends beyond the journey on one of our trains, trams or buses. The passenger is at the heart of everything we do. The delivery of safe, reliable and comfortable services is the starting point for every transport provider, but that is not enough for Abellio. Our services must play an integrated role in the socio-economic development of the societies we serve.