Anglia Railways

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Anglia Railways
Anglia railways logo.svg
DBSO 9701 at Colchester.JPG
Franchise(s): Anglia
5 January 1997 - 31 March 2004
Main route(s): Great Eastern Main Line
Other route(s): Norwich-Sheringham
Norwich-Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft
Norwich-Ely / Cambridge
Ipswich-Ely / Cambridge
Manningtree-Harwich (Boat Trains)
London Crosslink
Fleet size: Unknown
Stations called at: 64
National Rail abbreviation: AR
Parent company: GB Railways

Anglia Railways[1] was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by GB Railways that operated the Anglia franchise from January 1997 until March 2004.


Anglia Railways operated InterCity services on the Great Eastern Main Line from London Liverpool Street to Harwich International and Norwich. It also operated regional services between Ipswich & Felixstowe, Ipswich & Lowestoft, Ipswich & Ely, Harwich International / Ipswich & Cambridge, Ely & Peterborough, Norwich & Ely, Norwich & Sheringham, Norwich & Great Yarmouth and Norwich & Lowestoft.[2]

A franchise commitment was to increase the hourly London Liverpool Street and Norwich services to half hourly. The half hourly service was introduced in 2000 with some extended to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Due to the new stock for these running late, Class 317s were used for a time.

With funding from the Strategic Rail Authority's Rail Partnership Funding, Anglia introduced a new experimental service from the Great Eastern Main Line via the North London Line to Basingstoke branded London Crosslink. It operated from 22 May 2000 until ceasing on 28 September 2002 due to poor loadings.[3]

A more successful new service with Rail Partnership Funding was introduced on 29 September 2002 from Norwich to Cambridge. This continues to operate.[4]

Norwich Crown Point depot, a Class 150 and steam locomotive can be seen

Rolling stock[edit]

Anglia Railways inherited a fleet of Class 86s, Mark 2 carriages, Driving Brake Standard Opens, Class 150s, Class 153s from British Rail.

To meet a franchise commitment to operate two services per hour between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, Anglia Railways eight three-carriage Class 170s were delivered in 2000. A further four two-carriage Class 170s were delivered in 2002.

The three-carriage Class 170s were used on new services from London Liverpool Street to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, on London Crosslink services as well as being hired to GB Railways' Hull Trains operation to work London King's Cross to Hull services. The two-carriage examples were principally used on the new Norwich to Cambridge services.

Anglia hired a Class 47 from Cotswold Rail from June 2002 as a rescue locomotive and to haul Mark 2 sets on Summer Saturday services to Great Yarmouth.[5]

In July 2002 Anglia hired a Class 90 from Freightliner for a few months with a view to replacing the Class 86s.[6] In October 2003 Anglia hired three Class 90s from EWS until the end of the franchise.[7]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Built
mph km/h
Class 47 Anglia 47 Norwich.JPG Diesel locomotive 100 160 Hired from
Cotswold Rail
Class 86 86227 'Golden Jubilee' at Ipswich.JPG Electric locomotive 100 160 15 1965-1966
Class 150/2 Sprinter 150245 at Cambridge.JPG Diesel multiple unit 75 120 10 1984–1987
Class 153 Super Sprinter 153335 'Michael Palin' at Cambridge.JPG Diesel multiple unit 75 120 7 1987–1988
Class 170/2 Turbostar 170205 at Ely.JPG Diesel multiple unit 100 160 12 1999–2002
Mark 2 carriage Greatyarmouth34.jpg Passenger carriage 100 160 115 1964–1975
Rail-dbso-amoswolfe.jpg Driving Brake Standard Open 100 160 13 1979–1986


Anglia Railway's fleet was maintained at Norwich Crown Point depot.


In 2002 as part of a franchise reorganisation by the Strategic Rail Authority, it was announced that the Anglia Railways franchise would be merged into the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise.[8] Having missed out on pre-qualifying for the Greater Anglia franchise, First purchased GB Railways in August 2003.[9] In December 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the Greater Anglia franchise to National Express with the services operated by Anglia Railways transferring to One on 1 April 2004.[10]

The decision to transfer the franchise to National Express was controversial, since Anglia was twice awarded "Train Operator of the Year"[11] and also "European Train Operator of Year 2000".[12] National Express later lost the franchise following their mishandling of the East Coast route under their National Express East Coast brand.


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3006570 Anglia Railways Train Services Limited
  2. ^ Anglia Railways route map December 2003 Anglia Railways
  3. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 446 16 Oct 2002 page 18
  4. ^ Rail Strategy Cambridgeshire Council
  5. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 438 26 June 2002 page 58
  6. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 441 7 August 2002 page 54
  7. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 473 29 October 2003 page 74
  8. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 426 9 Jan 2002 page 4
  9. ^ GB Rail Offer Unconditional FirstGroup plc corporate news 14 August 2003
  10. ^ National Express wins rail franchise The Telegraph 22 December 2003
  11. ^ Rail Professional, Ltd. "HSBC Rail Awards 2003 Review". Archived from the original on 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  12. ^ Cambridge Network. "Top award for rail operator". Retrieved 2006-12-03. 

Preceded by
As part of British Rail
Operator of Anglia franchise
1997 - 2004
Succeeded by
Greater Anglia franchise