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Greater Anglia up for eight awards after a year of rail improvements

PUBLISHED: 15:36 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:36 22 August 2018

Improvements to Ipswich Station have helped it to be shortlisted in the Station of the Year category. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Improvements to Ipswich Station have helped it to be shortlisted in the Station of the Year category. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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Greater Anglia has been shortlisted for eight classes at the National Rail Awards – including the top accolade of Passenger Operator of the Year.

The company is a finalist in the Customer Service Excellence award – for leading the industry in rolling out Smart Card ticketing.

Its Class 156 diesel trains, which run on local lines, are short-listed in the Train of the Year award, following a project to fit them with a special wheel slip protection system – which prevents wheel damage in slippery conditions especially in the autumn.

Laura Englestone, who is helping the company improve customer service standards across the network, has been nominated for the Outstanding Personal Contribution award.

Four Greater Anglia stations are nominated for Station of the Year – Ipswich and Norwich in the Large Station category, Ingatestone in the Medium category, and Bures in the Small Station category.

This is the first full year that the remodelled Ipswich station and forecourt has been open to the public after a £2m upgrade both inside and out.

The company has been short-listed in the Passenger Operator of the Year award following a range of initiatives including improving the maintenance of its train fleet, improving stations, making it easier to buy tickets, and making it easier to claim compensation when there are problems.

Managing Director Jamie Burles said: “It’s great to have so many nominations, including Passenger Operator of the Year, reflecting the significant improvements we’ve delivered for customers in the first 18 months of our franchise.

“Trains are more reliable and cleaner, with many benefitting from refurbishment. We’ve also added more seats, by leasing more trains, implemented timetable improvements and upgraded our stations.”

Meanwhile rail passengers are facing disruption on the main line to London over the August bank holiday weekend as new track is laid between Colchester and Manningtree – closing the line for three days.

There are also weekend line closures planned throughout the autumn – so anyone planning a day trip by train needs to check in advance whether there are any line closures and bus substitutions.

A woman in her 60s has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a crash on the Dock Gate Roundabout in Felixstowe.

The BBC TV presenter Dan Snow has stressed the importance of preserving Suffolk’s precious history – and shared an surprising anecdote about a near-death experience in one of the county’s most famous rivers.

Rail services between Ipswich and Felixstowe are being reinstated after “slippery rails” left lines between the two towns blocked.

The big event may be more than nine months away - but councils and transport companies are making big plans for Ed Sheeran’s concerts in Ipswich next August Bank Holiday.

Suffolk and Essex are to received more than £20m extra from the government to maintain their local road network next year.

A woman who killed an 80-year-old great-grandmother in a head-on car crash has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Gina Long MBE quizzes Lord Iveagh on his love for East Anglia.

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