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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

TFL Rail is ready to take over Abellio Greater Anglia Shenfield Branch service

This is good news for those of you who use the Shenfield Branch which is operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. The media claims that Abellio Greater Anglia is the most hated operator, however, users will pleased to hear that TFL is taking over the Shenfield Branch and also the Romford to Upminster service.
This is a follow up to my previous article published on 15th February 2015 in which I first made the readers aware of the planned takeover by TFL of  Abellio Greater Anglia.

Below is TFL's press release for the TFL rail service which is coming shortly on 31st May 2015.
The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) today announced new fares for key commuter rail services out of Liverpool Street when they join the TfL network at the end of May. It will mean 80 per cent of pay as you go fares on those routes will be lower with the remainder unchanged. Some fares will fall by as much as 40 per cent.
On Sunday 31 May, services currently operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, between Liverpool Street station and Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford, along with services between Romford and Upminster, will become part of London Overground.
From the same date, the stopping services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield will be run as TfL Rail in preparation for the introduction of Crossrail branded services in 2017.
The services currently operate with National Rail pay as you go fares, which are generally higher than TfL fares. When services transfer, over 80 per cent of current rail journeys will reduce in price and TfL concessions will apply - giving customers substantial savings. The remaining 20 per cent of fares will remain unchanged.
Examples of the new fares are:
·         Peak Zones 1-6 pay as you go fare from Romford to Oxford Circus will fall from £7.60 to £5.10 (a 30 per cent reduction) with the off-peak fare falling from £5.20 to £3.10 (a 40 per cent reduction)
·         Peak Zones 1-6 pay as you go fare from Cheshunt to Zone 1 will fall from £8.20 to £6.90 (a 15 per cent reduction) with the off-peak fare falling from £6.20 to £4.00 (a 35 per cent reduction)
All TfL concessions and discounts that currently apply to London Underground, the Docklands Light Railway, and London Overground will apply on the rail services transferring to TfL. This will include:
·         Free travel for under 11s accompanied by an adult
·         Lower ZIP photocard fares for under 16s
·         Free travel for customers with a 60+ London Oyster photocard, Freedom Pass or Veterans Oyster photocard
·         Any fares currently below TfL levels will remain unchanged and no tickets will be withdrawn.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: `This is fantastic news for commuters, who won't just be benefitting from being part of the wonderfully efficient London Overground network, but for many of them their fares will be reduced as well. This is a clear demonstration of why it is a no brainer for TfL to be given more control of suburban rail services, enabling more people to reap the benefits of rail devolution.'
The Managing Director of London Rail, Mike Brown, said: `We are very pleased to take over responsibility for these routes into and out of Liverpool Street and, over time, look forward to improving the services for the passengers using them. Just as on London Underground, people will see staff at our stations at all times when trains are running - providing reassurance to the public as well as a turn up and go service for disabled customers. Passengers will also benefit from new fares which, in the most cases, will save them money, with Oyster and contactless payment continuing to provide the best value.'
Stephen Locke, Chair of London TravelWatch, said: `Given that affordability of fares is a major issue for passengers, we welcome the lower fares which will come when TfL takes over these services and the fact that TfL concessions and discounts will apply. However, passengers will also benefit from the service improvements that have been promised which overall will give passengers better value for money and strengthen the case for further devolution of rail services to the Mayor of London.'
Some fares will come down but will remain at a level consistent with National Rail to ensure the Crossrail Sponsors' Agreement and the Government's fare policy requirements are adhered to. For example, the pay as you go peak fare from Brentwood to Zone 1 will come down by £1.50 to £8.20 and the off-peak fare by £2.30 to£5.30 - significantly lower than the current fares but higher than the standard Zone 1-9 Tube fare.
TfL does not make a profit from fares. All income is reinvested to run and improve services for customers and users.
I recommend that you to take a look at this article I wrote so you can see the list of private operating companies.
Under TfL, London Overground has become one of the most popular and punctual railways in the country. Services have been radically improved with continuing investment and expansion to parts of the Capital which were once not well served by rail. Stations have been brought up to modern standards, with CCTV, better security, a turn up and go service for disabled Londoners and staff present at every station at all times services are operating.
Customers using these services will also benefit from the same refund policy as existing London Overground customers - if they are delayed for 30 minutes or more for a reason within TfL's control they will be entitled to a full single fare refund for their journey. If there is an incident which causes significant disruption then automatic refunds will be issued.
TfL Rail services will operate between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in preparation for the introduction of Crossrail - the East-West railway that will transform travel in London. They will be operated by MTR, and will deliver improvements for customers until the new Crossrail trains, and the first Crossrail services as far as Liverpool Street, are introduced in 2017.
TFL also make reference to their improvements in their notes for editors section of the press release.
On the Upminster to Romford service a member of staff will travel on the train between Romford and Emerson Park to ensure someone is available to assist passengers during hours of operation. Staff will also be available at Upminster and Romford stations from the first to last train.
This is quite interesting as commuters can use London Buses route 370 which goes from Romford Station towards Upminster station via Emerson Park. But route 248also serves Romford Station towards Upminster Station, it does not serve Emerson Park Station because it goes via Roneo Corner. London Buses route 165 also serves Romford Station and Emerson Park but does not serve Upminster Station because it goes to Rainham via Elm Park Station.
Shenfield
Although the train services transferring to TfL Rail in May 2015 terminate at Shenfield, the station will continue to be served primarily by fast main line services. Abellio Greater Anglia will continue to manage the station and set most fares, including the pay as you go fares from Shenfield to Zone 1 and beyond, and all through fares to the rest of the National Rail network in the same way they do today.
All non-Zone 1 fares from Shenfield to the rest of the TfL rail network will be set by TfL; Abellio Greater Anglia will no longer set fares to east London including Docklands and Stratford.
Prices will not change for any single or return paper ticket.
Brentwood
Brentwood's pay as you go fares are currently set by Abellio Greater Anglia and the station is outside the TfL fare zones. The train service from Brentwood will be provided by TfL Rail from 31 May and to coincide with this, Brentwood will be moved to Zone 9. This will mean that all TfL stations are included in the numbered Zones 1-9.
As a result of Brentwood being added to Zone 9, the 7 Day Zone 1 Travelcard from there will fall in price from £87.40 to £83.40 bringing it in line with current TfL fares.
Pay as you go fares from Brentwood to Zone 1 London Underground stations will also go down. The peak fare will reduce from £9.70 to £8.20 and the off-peak fare will reduce from £7.60 to £5.30.
Cheshunt to Tottenham Hale
The service from Cheshunt to Liverpool Street via Southbury will be operated by London Overground, while the service from Cheshunt to Liverpool Street via Tottenham Hale will remain operated by Abellio Greater Anglia from 31 May 2015. However, following an agreement with Abellio Greater Anglia, the two lines will share the same TfL pay as you go fares. This provides consistent fares for customers and means the same TfL Zone 3-2 fare of £1.70 peak and £1.50 off-peak will apply for journeys such as White Hart Lane or Northumberland Park to Hackney Downs.
With Abellio Greater Anglia receiving 70,000 negative tweets over the last 12 months, and an approval rating of 46%, some of their commuter services will be taken over by TFL and they are the Seven Sisters Line, Chingford Line, Romford to Upminster Line and Shenfield Metro line.
An Abellio Greater Anglia spokesperson said: "Twitter is a positive way in which we engage with our customers and with over 50,000 followers we are continuing to expand and improve the service. Our Twitter team provide immediate updates on train running matters which they can quickly pass on to customers requesting service information and travel advice.
We also genuinely appreciate the feedback that we receive via Social Media which helps in our efforts to improve the services that we provide. In 2015 we are currently investing over £30m in improving our train fleet, customer service and train performance, and in better train cleaning."
Train Operating Company Abellio is owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) which is a private company solely owned by the Dutch Government.
May 2015 Tube Map

TFL have updated their Tube map which contains TFL Rail and a few new London Overground lines. The Tube map seems to be quite congested as TFL are taking over more suburban railway lines.
You can see the map here.
Dont forget to follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

References:
http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/12967602.Abellio_Greater_Anglia_tops_poll_as_most_complained_about_train_line_in_Britain/
http://www.brentwoodgazette.co.uk/Abellio-Greater-Anglia-worst-train-operators-UK/story-26038188-detail/story.html

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