Dutch Railways Take Over Greater Anglia Franchise

Abellio, the fully owned subsidiary of Dutch Railways, took over the Greater Anglia Franchise from February 5, with mixed results in their first rush hour.

Abellio’s Third Rail Franchise Commences Amongst Infrastructure Failures

Abellio Greater Anglia Limited has started operating the Greater Anglia (Short) franchise albeit with mixed results on Sunday 5 February 2012. It will operate for 29 months running services across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. The franchise will obviously play a key transport role for the London 2012 Games running many services to Stratford, the Olympic Park and Lea Valley areas. The franchise will be renewed in July 2014 with a 15 year deal to be won.

Greater Anglia has promised to provide better station and ticket facilities and measures to improve passenger information including by text. New information desks will be provided at major stations including London Liverpool Street, Cambridge, Norwich, Ipswich and Stansted Airport.

The new franchisee has promised to make it easier for passengers to buy tickets, including extending Oyster Pay As You Go between Liverpool Street and stations to Shenfield, and Hertford East. Better ticket vending machines, the introduction of mobile phone and print-at-home ticketing facilities are also to be introduced.

Better Passenger Facilities Promised

Abellio Greater Anglia Limited has also committed to provide an additional 600 car park spaces (subject to planning approvals), more cycle storage facilities.

Deep cleaning of stations and trains will be carried out as they take over station leases from Network Rail, taking on responsibility for all repairs and renewals at stations. This is a new arrangement designed to give more responsibility to train operators.

Franchise by Numbers

Greater Anglia employs 3,000 people to operate 1,900 services per day or 43,000 services per month and carries two million passengers per week.

Abellio say that they are committed to delivering public transport services

that serve our clients and consistently exceed our passengers’ and stakeholders’ expectations. We aim to achieve this by focussing on:

Improving the on board travel experience, punctuality and availability of trains.

Improving facilities at stations with a focus on comfort, safety and security.

Becoming a major contributor within the communities we serve.

Begin joining up rail services with other modes of transport.

Abellio Managing Director Says

Dominic Booth, Managing Director, UK Abellio Group comments: “The Greater Anglia executive team will be leading this short franchise to deliver the proposals made within the bid with a focus on delivering improvements in customer service, station condition and operational performance.

I am confident that the Greater Anglia Executive team has the skills and experience to deliver these plans and also look towards the future franchise opportunity by developing a deeper understanding of the regions’ railway needs.

The Group continues to look for opportunities to add new and successful public transport operations to sit alongside our portfolio in the UK which also includes Merseyrail and Northern Rail. They have also been shortlisted for the West Coast Franchise in competition with Virgin.

First Weekday Blues - 6th February 2012

Trains resumed near normal working in the mid afternoon after infrastructure problems on the London to Norwich line but services returned to normal by 1545hrs between Norwich and Lowestoft after being suspended due to a broken rail.

Website Blues

The Greater Anglia website ‘experienced problems’ on the first weekday and visitors were redirected to their Journey Check website for train running information.

External Links


Have your say...

Please note: you have to be logged into the site before you can leave a comment

Liverpool street station in the UK at rush hour

Help and advice with train travel in the UK

Train travel in the UK should be a pleasure, not a headache. So if you’re taking a train on the UK railway, start your journey here. We’ve lots of hints, tips and advice to help you find your way around, travel smoothly and arrive in style by train.

Read more

eurostars passing at 375mph from the drivers seat in france


Welcome to our #railchat page. Our #railchat discussions take place over on Twitter, with our resident expert Phil Marsh. If you would like to get involved, please do join us, and use the dedicated hashtag #railchat. See our previous discussions below:

Read more

Old steam train in Shanty Town Museum

Locomotives & Engines

Our rail network would be nothing without them. From Stephenson's Rocket to British Rail Class 92 and beyond, explore the facts, information and anecdotes behind the steam, diesel and electric locomotives that built the age of the train.

Read more


Latest Tweets


Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh to London Kings Cross by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 85% advanced bookings.

From £21.00

Buy now

Millenium Dome, London

Birmingham New Street to London Euston by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 92% on advance bookings.

From £6

Buy now

You may also like...



Follow us on Twitter and become part of our rail community!



redspottedhanky.com is the easy way to buy cheap train tickets online.



Control your business fuel costs with a supermarket fuel card – free to apply, no ongoing account charges and no monthly minimum spend.