National Express East Anglia
1 April 2004 - 4 February 2012
|Main region(s)||East of England|
|Other region(s)||London, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire|
|Stations called at||168|
|National Rail abbreviation||LE|
|Parent company||National Express|
National Express East Anglia (NXEA) was a train operating company in England owned by National Express, that operated the Greater Anglia franchise from April 2004 until February 2012. Originally trading as One, it was rebranded National Express East Anglia in February 2008. It provided local, suburban and express services from London Liverpool Street to destinations in Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk in the East of England.
When the British Rail services operating out of London London Liverpool Street were privatised in January 1997, they were divided up between three train operating companies, Anglia Railways, First Great Eastern and West Anglia Great Northern.
In April 2003, the Strategic Rail Authority announced Arriva, GB Railways and National Express had been shortlisted to bid for the new franchise. In December 2003, the franchise was awarded to National Express with all the services operated by Anglia Railways and First Great Eastern along with those out of London Liverpool Street by West Anglia Great Northern, transferring to One on 1 April 2004. The franchise was to run until March 2011, with provision for a three-year extension if performance targets were met.
The area names from the former franchises were initially retained as sub-brands by the new franchise, One Anglia, One Great Eastern and One West Anglia, however other than Stansted Express all services were soon branded as just One, reflecting the union of the three smaller franchises into one single franchise and standing for "Operated by National Express". This led to passenger confusion as they were unable to establish if announcements were for the 07:20 One service, or the 07:21 service resulting in the company's name being omitted from announcements. All dining car services were eliminated to pay for the livery costs incurred in repainting every piece of rolling stock in the franchise after the One rebranding exercise, though the new name had a life of less than 4 years.
In November 2009, the Department for Transport announced National Express would not be granted the three-year extension that it had met the criteria for, because of it defaulting on the National Express East Coast franchise.
Following a change of government at the 2010 General Election, the Department for Transport announced all refranchising would be put on hold while a review was conducted into the franchising process. As a result, National Express were granted an initial extension until October 2011, followed by another until February 2012.
In addition to its domestic services, the company was also a partner with Stena Line and Nederlandse Spoorwegen in the Dutchflyer service. Most of the London services use Liverpool Street as their terminus.
Former Anglia franchise
- Intercity Great Eastern Main Line services to Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich as well as local services in Suffolk and Norfolk
- Bittern Line (Norwich - Cromer - Sheringham)
- Breckland Line (Norwich - Ely (continuing to Cambridge)
- East Suffolk Line (Ipswich - Lowestoft)
- Ely to Peterborough Line (Ely - Peterborough)
- Felixstowe Branch Line (Ipswich - Felixstowe)
- Ipswich to Ely Line (Ipswich - Bury St Edmunds, continuing to Ely/Newmarket - Cambridge)
- Wherry Lines (Norwich - Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft)
Former Great Eastern franchise
- Great Eastern Main Line to Chelmsford, Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea and Ipswich
- 'Shenfield Metro' service Liverpool Street - Shenfield
- Upminster Branch Line (Romford - Upminster)
- Shenfield to Southend Line (Shenfield - Southend Victoria)
- Crouch Valley Line (Shenfield–Wickford - Southminster)
- Braintree Branch Line (Witham - Braintree
- Gainsborough Line (Marks Tey - Sudbury)
- Sunshine Coast Line (Colchester - Colchester Town - Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the Naze)
- Mayflower Line (Manningtree - Harwich Town)
Former West Anglia Great Northern franchise
- Lea Valley Lines (Liverpool Street to Chingford / Enfield / Cheshunt), also services on the Hertford East Branch Line
- Local services from Liverpool Street - Stansted Airport
- Stratford - Stansted Airport
- West Anglia Main Line Liverpool Street - Harlow / Cambridge (and limited service to King's Lynn)
In December 2004 new services were introduced from Liverpool Street to Lowestoft (via East Suffolk Line or Norwich), Peterborough, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge via Ipswich. However, in December 2010 these services become withdrawn.
One inherited a fleet of Class 86, Mark 2 carriages, Driving Brake Standard Opens, Class 150, Class 153 and Class 170 Turbostar, Class 312, Class 315, Class 317, Class 321 and Class 360s from Anglia Railways, First Great Eastern and West Anglia Great Northern.
A franchise commitment was the replacement of the Class 86s and Mark 2 carriages with Class 90s and Mark 3 carriages that were being replaced by Virgin West Coast. Initially the Mark 3s entered service in the same run down condition as they had left Virgin, before all were overhauled at Bombardier Transportation's Derby Litchurch Lane Works. The last Class 86s and Mark 2 carriages were withdrawn in late 2006.
Another franchise commitment was the procurement of new stock for the Stansted Express service. This resulted in 30 four-carriage Class 379 Electrostars being ordered with the first entering service in March 2011.
A Class 47 was hired from Cotswold Rail for use on rescue duties and to haul the initial weekday and later Summer Saturday only services from Norwich to Great Yarmouth. After Cotswold ceased trading in 2009, Direct Rail Services Class 47s were hired. DB Schenker often provided a Class 90s to cover for unavailability of One's fleet.
Fleet at start of franchise
Fleet at end of franchise
Infrastructure problems have affected performance. According to Network Rail, the main problems have been track-circuit failures, broken rails, track faults, points failures and overhead line equipment (OLE) failures. Network Rail, which is responsible for the infrastructure, intended to improve performance by work carried out during a planned closure of London Liverpool Street station over Christmas and New Year 2007/8. This allowed much of the outer London overhead line equipment to be replaced by modern, self-tensioning lines. The work was carried out, but overran at short notice by some 24 hours, causing ridicule in the national press.
Detailed figures (from the January edition of Modern Railways) of the miles covered per 5-minute delay for the year ending October 2009 showed that the most reliable trains in the fleet were again the Class 360 Desiros (mainly Clacton-on-Sea to London Liverpool Street), which achieved over 38,000 miles per five-minute delay. The 'workhorse' Class 321s by comparison returned some 21,500 miles per five-minute delay, while the 'Inter-City' Class 90 locomotive-hauled Norwich - Liverpool Street trains came in at some 14,000 miles per five-minute delay - this last figure being a 35% improvement on last year's 10,400. The Class 90 locomotives won the Silver Spanner award for InterCity rolling stock at the Annual National Rail Awards 2009.
In March 2011, the Department for Transport announced Abellio, Go-Ahead, and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the new Greater Anglia franchise. In October 2011, the new franchise was awarded to Abellio with the services operated by National Express East Anglia transferring to Greater Anglia on 5 February 2012.
- Companies House extract company no 4955356 London Eastern Railway Limited
- Rail issue 426 9 Jan 2002 page 4
- New Greater Anglian Franchise Strategic Rail Authority 27 March 2002
- Group shocked as rail bid fails BBC News 1 April 2003
- National Express Group Announced as Preferred Bidder for new Greater Anglia Franchise Strategic Rail Authority 22 December 2003
- National Express wins rail franchise The Telegraph 22 December 2003
- Rail issue 488 26 May 2004 page 11
- Balakrishnan, Angela (19 November 2008). "National Express axes dining car service". the Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- New Identity for National Express Group National Express Group plc 15 November 2007
- Rail company rebrands as National Express Eastern Daily Press (Norwich) 27 February 2008
- "National Express loses East Anglia rail franchise". BBC News. 26 November 2009.
- National Express loses East Anglia franchise three years early The Telegraph 26 November 2009
- Rail Franchising Department for Transport 17 June 2010
- "Franchise replacements put on hold by Department for Transport". RailNews. Stevenage. 18 June 2010.
- National Express wins extension to East Anglia rail franchise The Telegraph 15 September 2010
- The Blockade sulzerpower.com September 2004
- Rail Magazine issue 502 8 December 2004 page 34
- Summer 2009 Newsletter Mid Anglia Rail Passengers Association
- Rail issue 503 22 December 2004 page 9
- National Express unveils first new Class 379 Train at preview event National Express 13 October 2010
- Network Rail - Route Plans 2007: Route 7 Great Eastern pp. 4-5
- Jameson, Angela (3 January 2008). "Hamfisted handling of delays adds to the pain". The Times. London.
- Shortlisted Bidders for Greater Anglia and Intercity West Coast Rail Franchises Archived 6 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Department for Transport 24 March 2011
- Greater Anglia rail franchise Department for Transport 20 October 2011
- "Abellio has been awarded the Greater Anglia franchise" (Press release). Abellio. 20 October 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011.
Media related to National Express East Anglia at Wikimedia Commons
InterCity Anglia franchise
| Operator of Greater Anglia franchise
2004 – 2012
First Great Eastern
Great Eastern franchise
West Anglia Great Northern
West Anglia Great Northern franchise