Transforming Rail Travel Across East Anglia – The Greater Anglia Story

Presenter: Jonathan Denby - Head of Corporate Affairs - Greater Anglia

Virtual Meeting via Zoom

Jonathan first set the context for the main part of the presentation by briefly reviewing the initial privatisation arrangements for the area with services operated by Anglia Railways, First Great Eastern and West Anglia Great Northern (WAGN). The combined Greater Anglia franchise from 2004 saw ‘one’ later National Express East Anglia take over the services.

Greater Anglia, owned by Abellio, won the franchise in 2012 and after a strong performance as the main operator serving the London 2012 Olympics continued with timetable and capacity improvements and the refurbishment of the Class 90/Mk3 Inter-city stock.

The winning of the 2016 franchise bid cemented the Greater Anglia presence in the region and included the complete fleet replacement of all rolling stock – something that had never before been offered or achieved by any other privatised railway company.

The new trains, Class 745 Stadler 12 car sets for the Norwich Intercity and Stansted Express services, the Class 755 Stadler Bi-Mode 3 and 4 car sets for regional services and the Class 720 Bombardier Aventra stock for the London commuter services are now operating all services on the GA network. The introduction has been highly successful with improved performance and an enhanced passenger experience.

The result of the upgrades means that Greater Anglia is now one of the best performing rail companies in the UK with over 94% MAA figures for both PPM and the more challenging T-3 measures. According to the ORR, GA was the top ‘on-time’ operator from April 2023. GA are working to not only maintain this position but is working to improve it. This includes pressuring the fund holders to release money for improvements to both Ely and Haughley junctions which will unlock further improvements, including an hourly Ipswich to Peterborough service.

Following the presentation, Jonathan answered many interesting and varied questions from the floor.