Greater Anglia franchise

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This article is about the rail franchise. For the train operating company, see Abellio Greater Anglia.
Greater Anglia
Ipswich - Greater Anglia 90001 down train.JPG
Current operator: Abellio Greater Anglia
Main Route(s): Great Eastern Main Line
West Anglia Main Line
Franchise dates: 1 Apr 2004 – 4 Feb 2012
5 Feb 2012 – 15 Oct 2016
Route map

Route map

Greater Anglia is a railway franchise for the provision of passenger services from London Liverpool Street to destinations in Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk on the Great Eastern and West Anglia main lines. It will be replaced by the new East Anglia franchise in October 2016, with some suburban services transferred to London Overground and Crossrail in May 2015.


In 2002 as part of a franchise reorganisation by the Strategic Rail Authority, it was announced the Anglia Railways and Great Eastern franchises together with the West Anglia part of the West Anglia Great Northern franchise would be combined to form the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise.[1] This was part of a Strategic Rail Authority strategy to reduce the number of train operating companies providing services from a single London terminal. This was expected to improve efficiency and reliability.

1 April 2004 to 4 February 2012[edit]

In April 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority announced Arriva, GB Railways and National Express had been shortlisted to bid for the new franchise.[2]

In December 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the franchise to National Express.[3][4] with the services operated by Anglia Railways, First Great Eastern and West Anglia Great Northern transferred to One on 1 April 2004. The franchise was run until March 2011, with provision for a three-year extension to 2014 if performance targets were met. The franchise was originally branded as One before being rebranded as National Express East Anglia in February 2008 as part of a company wide rebranding programme.[5]

In November 2009, the Department for Transport announced National Express was to lose the Greater Anglia franchise in March 2011 rather than be granted an extension to operate it until March 2014. The decision followed the failure of sister company National Express East Coast,[6] even though National Express East Anglia had met all of its targets required for the franchise to be extended.

In June 2010 following the 2010 general election, the Department for Transport announced the replacement process for the two remaining National Express franchises would be put on hold pending a review of the franchising process resulting in an extension until February 2012 being granted.[7]

5 February 2012 to 15 October 2016[edit]

Services remaining in the franchise as of 31 May 2015

When tendering restarted, it was for a short-term franchise which would give the government time to plan changes in rail franchising policy based on Roy McNulty's Rail Value for Money Study. It also covered the period of the 2012 Olympic Games. The franchise was originally to run from 5 February 2012 until July 2014.

In March 2011, the Department for Transport announced Abellio, Go Ahead and Stagecoach had been shortlised for the new franchise,[8] with the Invitation to Tender issued in April 2011.[9] In October 2011, the franchise was awarded to Abellio[10] with the services operated by National Express East Anglia transferred to Greater Anglia on 5 February 2012.

In March 2013, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the franchise would be extended until 15 October 2016.[11] However, on 31 May 2015 the Liverpool Street to Chingford/Cheshunt and Enfield Town and Romford to Upminster services will transfer to London Overground[12][13] and the Liverpool Street to Shenfield services to Crossrail.[14]

In late 2013 Greater Anglia was rebranded as Abellio Greater Anglia. The process of tendering for the replacement East Anglia franchise began on 19 February 2015.[15]


  1. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 426 9 January 2002 Page 4
  2. ^ "Group shocked as rail bid fails". BBC News. 1 April 2003. 
  3. ^ National Express Group Announced as Preferred Bidder for new Greater Anglia Franchise
  4. ^ "National Express wins rail franchise". The Daily Telegraph (London). 22 December 2003. 
  5. ^ New identity for National Express Group National Express 15 November 2007
  6. ^ "National Express loses East Anglia rail franchise". BBC News. 26 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Franchise replacements put on hold by Department for Transport". RailNews (Stevenage). 18 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Shortlisted Bidders For Greater Anglia And Intercity West Coast Rail Franchises" (PDF). Department for Transport. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  9. ^ New operator sought for Greater Anglia rail services Department for Transport 26 April 2011
  10. ^ Greater Anglia rail franchise Department for Transport 20 October 2011
  11. ^ Railway plan puts new focus on passengers Secretary of State for Transport 26 March 2013
  12. ^ TFL appoints London Overground operator to run additional services Transport for London 28 May 2014
  13. ^ TfL count on LOROL for support Rail Professional 28 May 2014
  14. ^ MTR selected to operate Crossrail services Railway Gazette 18 July 2014
  15. ^

External links[edit]