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Single operator for train service

PUBLISHED: 13:36 19 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

A SINGLE operator will be running all passenger trains from Liverpool Street to East Anglia from 2004, it was revealed today.

The government's Strategic Rail Authority announced it would be combining the Great Eastern and Anglia Railways franchises with West Anglia services to Cambridge and Kings Lynn from April 2004.

A SINGLE operator will be running all passenger trains from Liverpool Street to East Anglia from 2004, it was revealed today.

The government's Strategic Rail Authority announced it would be combining the Great Eastern and Anglia Railways franchises with West Anglia services to Cambridge and Kings Lynn from April 2004.

The management of the new franchise will be based in London – but the SRA is insisting that the winning bidder should run its local services from offices in East Anglia.

Existing operators First Great Eastern and GB Railways (owner of Anglia) are expected to bid for the new franchise, which will run for 15 years – more than twice as long as the current franchise.

However while First Great Eastern is part of a major group operating services around the world, GB Railways is Britain's smallest mainline operator.

Only yesterday it unveiled half-year losses of £1.8 million, and it has already said it is looking for a partner to invest in it or even take it over.

The SRA has said it expects new trains to be operating on mainline services between London and Norwich by the time the new franchise comes into force – replacing the existing 35-year-old electric locomotives and carriages.

It is going to underwrite the cost of ordering the new trains, which will be immediately taken over by the franchise winner when it takes over the services.

Meanwhile another major local company reported good news for its shareholders today.

Associated British Ports, owner of Ipswich Port, published its December trading update – foreshadowing the publication of its full year results in February.

It said that turnover during 2001 is expected to have increased by eight per cent on the 2000 figure, and profits are expected to be at the upper end of expectations.

Business at its ports across Britain has increased, and it expected the growth to continue.

At Ipswich, ABP is digging in for what could be a long and acrimonious battle with the borough council over the construction of new roads to serve the docks.

But it is determined to invest further in both the Cliff Quay and west bank terminals over the next few years.


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