Future of rail services to be fixed

RAIL travellers in East Anglia should know more about the future of their services within the next month – but it could be the end of the year before its future is finally settled.

RAIL travellers in East Anglia should know more about the future of their services within the next month – but it could be the end of the year before its future is finally settled.

The government's Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is due to publish its list of pre-qualified bidders for the Greater Anglia franchise on Monday.

The length of the list is uncertain – it could be as few as three companies or it could be as many as six or seven.

Almost certain to be on the list are GB Railways – owner of Anglia Railways – First Group, which runs the Great Eastern franchise, and National Express which currently runs trains between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.


You may also want to watch:


All services out of Liverpool Street are due to be combined in one "super franchise" called Greater Anglia from April 2004.

The exact specification for the franchise – setting out the minimum number of services to be run – will be published by the SRA in mid-April.

Most Read

Bidders then have 90 days to come up with their proposals for the franchise, and to say how much money they will need as a subsidy or how much they will be prepared to pay the SRA as a premium.

The announcement of the winning bidder is not expected before the autumn at the earliest.

Industry insiders think the April 2004 deadline is very tight and think it could be put back – possibly until after the end of engineering work which will close Ipswich tunnel for nine weeks in the summer of next year.

nWho would you like to see running the region's rail services. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.sra.gov.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter