Multi-million pound investment for Abellio rail services in East Anglia

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester - Credit: Archant

The region’s main rail operator is to spend an extra £10 million on trying to improve the reliability of services in East Anglia.

Abellio Greater Anglia has brought in a new set of coaches previously used by Virgin Trains on its services to the north west of England to increase the number of seats on its InterCity services while its own carriages are rebuilt next year.

And it is also updating some of its electric commuter trains – its “Desiro” fleet will have new seat covers installed.

The company is also planning to spend more on ensuring replacement buses are available more readily if there is a problem on the line.

Other work includes:

Replacement of the automatic ticket gates at Liverpool Street, Colchester, Ipswich, and Norwich;

Recruitment of six additional catering staff for the trial of an at-seat catering service in First Class carriages on three morning and evening peak trains in each direction on the Norwich to London intercity services;

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Wireless mobile public address systems at eight stations, including Ipswich, Colchester, Cambridge and Norwich;

Additional investment in standby buses to provide support for missed connections at Ipswich, Norwich and Witham in the event of service disruption;

A refresh for the waiting rooms at the stations at Ipswich and Witham.

This investment is in addition to the £20m programme of carriage refurbishment which will start early in the new year.

Jamie Burles, managing director of Abellio Greater Anglia said: “We are totally committed to delivering a better service for our customers, focusing on those areas they prioritise as important.

“In a short term franchise we will now be investing over £30m in customer-focused enhancements aimed at continuously improving the quality of the train service our passengers experience.”