High speed train service from East Anglia to London starts in May
PUBLISHED: 10:43 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 08 March 2019
Greater Anglia has published details of its first new high-speed InterCity trains that will cut journey times from Ipswich to London to less than an hour.
From May 20 there will be two trains a day in each direction, six days a week, that run between Ipswich and Liverpool Street in 55 or 57 minutes.
They are part of the “Norwich in 90” commitment made by Greater Anglia when it won the long-term contract to run trains in the region in 2016.
The 90-minute services will depart Norwich at 09.00 and 17.00 (calling at Ipswich at 09.33 and 17.33) and London Liverpool Street at 11.00 and 19.00 (calling at Ipswich at 11.55 and 19.57) and will operate on Mondays to Saturdays.
They will shave 12 minutes off the current fastest journey between Norwich and London and cut the fastest journey between Ipswich and London by four minutes.
However, they will not run at peak times – they will run after most commuters will be at their desks becuase they can only run when there is space on the seriously-congested main line to London.
The new trains are extra to the timetable – and will not stop anywhere except Ipswich on the run from Norwich to Liverpool Street.
However a spokesman for Greater Anglia said Essex stations would not be losing out because existing services would continue to run.
Initially existing InterCity trains will be used on these services – but the new Stadler trains should be introduced later in the year.
Officials hope that more fast trains will run when a new timetable is introduced within the next few years – but accept that if Ipswich in 60 is to become the norm, there would have to be a major investment by Network Rail to improve the Great Eastern Main Line.
In the meantime they are talking up the arrival of the four Norwich in 90 and Ipswich in 60 services which will be introduced from May 20.
Extra summer services will run on the Norwich-Ipswich-Colchester-London Liverpool Street, Norwich-Lowestoft, Ipswich-Peterborough, and Ipswich-Felixstowe routes, when the new timetable comes in on May 19.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “We’re very excited to be making these improvements from the start of our May timetable.
“For many years, stakeholders, including MPs and businesses, have been calling for faster journey times between East Anglia and London and now we’re launching the first quicker services with our new May timetable.
“Faster journey times and thousands of extra seats will provide a boost to people who live and work in East Anglia, as well as supporting the regional economy.
“These improvements will be followed in the summer by the first of our brand-new trains coming into service, so it really is going to be a great year for Greater Anglia customers.”