Another £4 million to boost rail travel

Saxmundham Station - which is due to get new information screens.

Saxmundham Station - which is due to get new information screens. - Credit: Archant/Geater

Rail operator Abellio is spending an extra £4 million to improve stations and trains across the region.

Commuter trains operating between Ipswich, Colchester and London are to be upgraded with new seat covers and improved lighting.

And many rural stations across the region will have new electronic information screens installed. Stations to get these include Saxmundham, Needham Market, Harwich Town, Newmarket, Stowmarket, Thurston, and Sudbury.

New seats are also set to be installed at stations across the region.

The company is also in the middle of a major upgrade of the company’s InterCity carriages, a programme which should be completed by the end of the current franchise.

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The new set of enhancements, which will be implemented over the next four months, mean that the train operator is now investing more than £35.5 million in upgrades during its short franchise (which runs until October 2016).

On top of these improvements, work on a major rebuild of Ipswich station is due to start towards the end of the summer – that should improve facilities for passengers waiting for trains and there are also proposals to improve the forecourt.

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Abellio Greater Anglia’s Managing Director Jamie Burles said: “We are pleased to confirm a further programme of customer-focused improvements.

“Despite a short franchise we have continued to invest above and beyond the commitments we agreed with the Department for Transport (DfT), constantly seeking to provide a better service for our customers.

“We will keep on investing and working to raise service standards throughout the remainder of our current franchise as well as making the case to Ministers and the DfT for investment in major upgrades in the next franchise.”

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