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
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.


In 2002 as part of a franchise reorganisation by the Strategic Rail Authority, it was announced that 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 that 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.[5]

In November 2009 the Department for Transport announced that 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 that 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]

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 Sir Roy McNulty's Rail Value for Money Study. It also covered the period of the 2012 Olympic Games. The new Greater Anglia franchise was originally to run from 5 February 2012 until July 2014.

In March 2011 the Department for Transport announced that Abellio, Go Ahead and Stagecoach had been shortlised for the new franchise.[8]

In April 2011 the Department for Transport issued the Invitation to Tender to the shortlisted bidders.[9]

In October 2011 the Department for Transport awarded the franchise 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, the Government has confirmed that the West Anglia Suburban routes along with the Great Eastern Suburban routes will transfer to Transport for London operation in 2015.[12]

During late 2013 Greater Anglia was rebranded as Abellio Greater Anglia.


External links[edit]