UK Department for Transport has announced that three companies are in the running for the next East Anglia rail franchise. They will work with the government to develop their proposals before receiving the invitation to tender in August.
The three shortlisted bidders are Abellio East Anglia (a joint venture between Abellio and Stagecoach), First East Anglia and National Express East Anglia Trains.
Bidders will be asked to show how they will improve the region’s railways, including providing reduced journey times to London, more reliable services, and better connections. They will also be expected to show how they could achieve the recommendations of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, which includes reducing London to Norwich journey times to 90 minutes.
The new operator is due to take over the franchise in October 2016. The East Anglia franchise, which is currently operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, carries 354,000 passengers a day on 5 routes across the region.