The Department for Transport (DfT) has today announced train companies shortlisted for the East Anglia rail franchise.
Three companies are in the running for the next East Anglia rail franchise, having successfully passed the pre-qualification stage. They will work with the government to develop their proposals before receiving the invitation to tender in August.
The shortlisted train operating companies, including Abellio East Anglia Limited â€“ a joint venture between Abellio and Stagecoach, First East Anglia Limited and National Express East Anglia Trains Limited, will be asked to show how they will improve the regionâ€™s railways; including providing reduced journey times to London, more reliable services, and better connections. They will also be expected to show how they could achieve the recommendations of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, which includes reducing London to Norwich journey times to 90 minutes.
Rail minister Claire Perry said: â€œWe have ambitious plans for East Angliaâ€™s rail network, and the successful bidder will be central to making these plans a reality. We want to find a partner who will help us meet the increasing demand for transport in the region by providing faster, more reliable journeys and better connections across the region and beyond.
â€œWe are investing record amounts in building a world-class railway as part of our long-term economic plan, and I am determined that passengers in East Anglia will benefit.â€
The new franchise is due to begin in October 2016. The current operator, Abellio Greater Anglia, carries 354,000 passengers a day on five routes across the region.