Anglia Railways' will live on, pledge

ANGLIA Railways' standards will live on after the end of the company's rail franchise, its managing director pledged today.Tim Clarke published a new year message insisting that the improvements to rail services made by his company over the last seven years would continue despite GB Railways losing the bid for the Greater Anglia franchise.

ANGLIA Railways' standards will live on after the end of the company's rail franchise, its managing director pledged today.

Tim Clarke published a new year message insisting that the improvements to rail services made by his company over the last seven years would continue despite GB Railways losing the bid for the Greater Anglia franchise.

He said: "The Anglia Railways team will continue to provide the train services for the bulk of the East Anglia region, together with the existing staff at the other companies who will also transfer to the new Greater Anglia franchise."

Bosses at Anglia have been irritated by suggestions that the end of one franchise and the start of the new one will be marked by a "big bang" for rail services in the region.

A rail insider said: "It's not going to be like that.

"The trains on April 1 will be exactly the same as the trains which run on March 31.

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"The staff will transfer, and the indications are that National Express are very keen to retain our high level of customer service."

And rail bosses don't think the change in ownership of the franchise will be that important to passengers.

The insider added: "They are mainly worried that their trains are reliable and comfortable – not who actually runs them."

Anglia's managers are still waiting to hear from franchise victors National Express about their plans for the region.

Because the announcement came through just a few days before Christmas, there has been little opportunity to study the details of the new franchise agreement.

But officials from Anglia, First Great Eastern and West Anglia Great Northern – already owned by National Express – are expected to meet soon to discuss how to bring the businesses together.

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