First Great Eastern

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First Great Eastern Logo2.gif
360111 at Ipswich.jpg
Overview
Franchise(s): Great Eastern
5 January 1997 - 31 March 2004
Main region(s): East London
East of England
Fleet size: 144
Stations called at: 61
National Rail abbreviation: GE
Parent company: FirstGroup

First Great Eastern[1] was a train operating company in England owned by FirstGroup, that operated the Great Eastern franchise from January 1997 until March 2004.

Services[edit]

First Great Eastern operated all stops and limited stops services on the Great Eastern Main Line from London Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria, Southminster, Braintree, Colchester Town, Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, Harwich Town and Ipswich. It also ran services on the Romford to Upminster Line and Gainsborough Line from Marks Tey to Sudbury.[2]

Rolling stock[edit]

First Great Eastern inherited a fleet of Class 312, Class 315 and Class 321s from British Rail. A Class 153 was hired from Anglia Railways for the Marks Tey to Sudbury service due to it not being electrified, a Class 150 being used on weekdays and a Class 153 on weekends. Prior to this arrangement, a Class 121 Bubble Car was hired from Silverlink.[3]

A franchise commitment was the replacement of the Class 312s. In May 2001, First Great Eastern ordered 21 Class 360 Desiros with the first entering service in August 2003.[4]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
121 Bubble Car 19880827-Paddington-Class121.jpg diesel multiple unit 70 112 Hired from
Silverlink
Marks Tey - Sudbury 1960
150 150245 at Cambridge.JPG diesel multiple unit 75 120 Hired from
Anglia Railways
Marks Tey - Sudbury 1984–1987
153 153335 'Michael Palin' at Cambridge.JPG diesel multiple unit 75 120 Hired from
Anglia Railways
Marks Tey - Sudbury 1987-1988
312 312718 and 312721 at Kirby Cross.JPG electric multiple unit 90 145 24 Colchester - Walton-on-the-Naze
Harwich Town - Manningtree
London Liverpool Street - Clacton-on-Sea and Ipswich (peak times only)
1975-1978
315 Class 315s at London Liverpool Street.jpg electric multiple unit 75 120 43 London Liverpool Street - Shenfield and Southminster
Romford - Upminster
1980-1981
321 321334 'Amsterdam' at Colchester.JPG electric multiple unit 100 160 77 London Liverpool Street - Braintree, Southend Victoria, Ipswich, Walton-on-the-Naze, Colchester Town, Clacton-on-Sea
Wickford - Southminster (Sundays only)
1988-1990
360/1 Desiro 360111 at Ipswich.jpg electric multiple unit 100 160 21 London Liverpool Street - Clacton-on-Sea and Harwich Town
London Liverpool Street - Ipswich (peak times only)
2002–2003

Depot[edit]

First Great Eastern's fleet was maintained at Ilford depot.

Demise[edit]

In 2002, as part of a franchise reorganisation by the Strategic Rail Authority, it was announced that the Great Eastern franchise would be merged into the Greater Anglia franchise.[5] In December 2003, the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise to National Express, and the services operated by First Great Eastern were transferred to One on 1 April 2004.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3007936 Great Eastern Railway Limited
  2. ^ First Great Eastern route map August 2003
  3. ^ "Bubble cars revived, depot opens to solve Great Eastern branch crisis" Rail issue 312 27 August 1997 page 10
  4. ^ Rail issue 468 20 August 2003 page 9
  5. ^ Rail issue 426 9 January 2002 page 4
  6. ^ "National Express wins rail franchise". The Daily Telegraph (London). 22 December 2003. 

External links[edit]

Media related to First Great Eastern at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Network SouthEast
As part of British Rail
Operator of Great Eastern franchise
1997 – 2004
Succeeded by
One
Greater Anglia franchise