Abellio is owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen which is a state owned company in the Netherlands and run by the government. Despite Britain voting to leave the EU, no changes have been made to Britain’s railways.
From Gov UK press release
Better journeys for rail passengers and boost for Derby train industry as new East Anglia franchise announced
Enhanced services and faster trains across East Anglia franchise including new trains from Bombardier.
· Abellio East Anglia will run the franchise from October 2016, delivering faster, more frequent journeys along the route
· Abellio East Anglia will oversee a massive £1.4 billion boost to rail services with more than 1,040 new carriages
· 90-minute services to run between Norwich and London each weekday with journey times cut by 10% on average across the region
· around £1 billion contract for Derby train manufacturer Bombardier to supply new trains
A fully modernised rail service with British-built carriages providing faster trains, more seats, free Wi-Fi for all users and tough new performance targets is unveiled by the government today (10 August 2016).
The new service for rail passengers across East Anglia promises to deliver more than 1,040 new state of the art carriages and cut journey times by an average of 10%.
It will also deliver one of the biggest orders for British-built trains – almost £1 billion for 660 carriages from the Bombardier factory in Derby – as part of a contract that will secure 1,000 jobs into the next decade.
The government today announced it has awarded the franchise to Abellio East Anglia, who will oversee this £1.4 billion investment to local rail services.
Key benefits of the new franchise include:
· at least 4 90-minute services (2 in each direction) between London and Norwich each weekday and 2 60-minute services per day between London and Ipswich
· free Wi-Fi for all passengers on trains and at stations
· 1,043 new, state of the art carriages between January 2019 and September 2020 to support the faster timetable, with a full programme of refurbishment for the current fleet in the meantime
· automatic ‘delay repay’ for season and advance purchase tickets
· tough new targets for operational performance levels at 93% - up from 89.7% currently
· a host of new ticketing initiatives, starting in October 2017, including new offers for part time users and those who don’t travel every day
By 2021, there will be more than 32,000 more seats on services arriving at London Liverpool Street in the morning peak, while the new franchise will introduce 1,144 additional weekday services – an increase of 13% – to stations including Cambridge, Norwich, Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, Southend and London Liverpool Street.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“We are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era. By awarding this franchise to Abellio East Anglia we will improve journeys for people in East Anglia.”
“Abellio’s decision will ensure our train building industry in Derby remains strong.”
“This is part of our plan to make an economy that works for everyone – not just the privileged few – by ensuring prosperity is spread throughout the country.”
Dominic Booth managing director of Abellio UK said:
“This is great news not only for Abellio but for the whole of East Anglia. We are pleased to become preferred bidder to deliver a transformation in rail services across the region.”
“It will enable us to build on the successes of the 2 short East Anglian franchises we have run since 2012, and we commend the DfT in running a transparent and rigorous procurement process.”
“Our plans will greatly improve our customers’ experience with faster and more reliable journeys on new trains with higher frequencies and reduced journey times, to support the socio-economic well-being of East Anglia, one of the country’s most successful and fastest growing areas.”
Des McKeon UK Commercial Director at Bombardier Transportation said:
“We’re delighted to be chosen, pending final contract signing, as the preferred supplier for new trains for the East Anglia franchise. We look forward to working with our customer the Abellio UK, to support them in transforming rail services throughout the region and delivering an enhanced customer experience through the provision of new trains.”
“It’s a great endorsement of Bombardier’s next-generation AVENTRA train family, which offers maximum flexibility, to serve many different market requirements from metro to intercity.”
More than 97 million journeys are made on East Anglia’s rail network each year, with around 4,300 trains every week serving London commuters, the regional hubs of Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich, leisure travellers to Stansted Airport and coastal and rural resorts around the region.
The new franchise will run from October 2016 until 2025.
Taking a look at the East Anglia franchise improvements page:
The new operator of the East Anglia franchise will invest heavily to improve services for passengers. This includes:
· replacing the entire fleet with new trains within 4 years of the start of the franchise
· increasing operational performance levels from 89.2% to 92.9% Public Performance Measure
· 32,000 more seats on services arriving at London Liverpool Street in the morning peak
· 1,144 additional weekday services
· Norwich in 90 and Ipswich in 60 services
· £9,795,000 of stations enhancements
· smart ticketing on the entire network by 2019
· controlled emission toilets by 1 January 2020
· free Wi-Fi at stations and on trains
Here’s a press release from Abellio UK
ABELLIO SELECTED AS PREFERRED BIDDER FOR EAST ANGLIAN RAIL FRANCHISE
We welcome the decision of the Department for Transport (DfT) to select Abellio as Preferred Bidder to run the next East Anglia rail franchise from 16th October 2016.
Abellio’s bid for the East Anglia franchise will deliver a transformation for the passenger. We will replace every one of the current vehicles with new, modern, high performing trains. This coupled with significant journey time improvements, a 55% increase in seats into London in the morning peak and more than a thousand additional train services each week will deliver a step change in what our passengers experience day to day.
Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK, said: “This is great news not only for Abellio but for the whole of East Anglia. We are pleased to become preferred bidder to deliver a transformation in rail services across the region. It will enable us to build on the successes of the two short East Anglian franchises we have run since 2012, and we commend the DfT on running a transparent and rigorous procurement process.
Our plans will greatly improve our customers’ experience with faster and more reliable journeys on new trains with higher frequencies and reduced journey times, to support the socio-economic well-being of East Anglia, one of the country’s most successful and fastest growing areas.”
Our plans include:
· £1.5bn investment to replace one of the oldest train fleets in the country with 1,043 completely new electric and bi-mode vehicles by 2020, with additional capacity added and many existing trains refurbished before then
· 32k more seats into London in the morning peak – up from 58k to 91k (a 55% increase)
· More trains to more places – 1,144 additional weekday services (an increase of 13%)
· Improved journey times, including some trains achieving Norwich in 90 minutes and Ipswich in less than 60 minutes
· Free high quality WiFi on all new and refurbished trains, and at every station
· Improved punctuality, with PPM improving from 89.7% to 92.9%. Delivered through a more robust timetable, investment in infrastructure, people and process and through an Alliance with Network Rail
· Investment in the local economy and jobs with £120m spend on depots, including a new maintenance facility at Manningtree
· We will take on 20 trainees per year, with a minimum of 30 apprenticeships by 2019
· An investment programme to improve our customers’ journey experience, including: nearly £60m on improving stations, with major schemes at Broxbourne, Cambridge, Cheshunt, Harlow and Southend Victoria; digital customer information screens at all 131 stations; improved ticket offices and more ticket vending machines; and nearly 1,800 additional car parking spaces and 4,000 additional cycle parking spaces.
The other shortlisted bidders were First East Anglia and National Express East Anglia. Interestingly enough,First operated the Great Eastern franchise from 5 January 1997 to 31 March 2004 and National Express operated the East Anglia franchise from 1 April 2004 to 4 February 2012.
Abellio also operate bus services in Surrey and London. On top of that they operate rail franchises of ScotRail and they have a 50% joint shareholding with Serco for Merseyrail.
In other news, I’m well aware of the Govia Southern Rail strike held by the RMT union conductors which is taking place over a five-day period from Monday 8 to Friday 12 August 2016.
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