Press release

New operator sought for Greater Anglia rail services

Invitation to tender for the Greater Anglia rail services.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The government has set out the level of service it expects from companies bidding to run rail services in Greater Anglia, following today’s publication of the invitation to tender document for the short 17-month franchise.

The new operator will take over from February 2012 and would be responsible for delivering services to destinations from London and across Greater Anglia - including Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn, Southend, Ipswich and Cambridge - until at least July 2013.

As one of the rail franchises serving Stratford and the Olympic stadium the new operator will be responsible for introducing longer and more frequent trains during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The government has set out the following objectives for the franchise in the invitation to tender:

  • delivering a quality of service for passengers for the entire rail journey
  • working with the department and other stakeholders to ensure value for money
  • managing and delivering changes required to accommodate Crossrail
  • working effectively with Network Rail to maintain performance
  • delivering longer and more frequent services to support the London 2012 Olympic Games
  • controlling operational costs and maximising revenue

As part of the bidding process each of the bidders will also need to set out how they intend to improve passenger satisfaction in the service they would provide.

The government plans to reform rail franchising and to lengthen rail franchises to around 15 years. This shorter franchise will allow time for reforms identified by Sir Roy McNulty’s review of the rail industry’s value for money to be properly considered and built into the terms of the subsequent Greater Anglia franchise.

The Greater Anglia invitation to tender

Notes to editors

On the 24 March 2011 the government announced the names of companies shortlisted to bid for the Greater Anglia franchise. They are:

  • Abellio Greater Anglia Limited (NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
  • Eastern Railway Limited (Go-Ahead Group PLC)
  • Stagecoach Anglia Trains Limited (Stagecoach Group plc)

The Greater Anglia franchise will commence on 5 February 2012 and will run for 17 months (expiring in July 2013) with an option to extend by up to 1 year.

Passenger Focus has advised the department on some key recommendations for the new franchise.

he government expects to announce the successful bidders for both the Greater Anglia and for InterCity West Coast franchises in Autumn 2011.

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Published 26 April 2011