Greater Anglia Rail Franchise awarded to Abellio

The Department of Transport have announced today (Thursday) that the Greater Anglia rail franchise contract has been awarded to Dutch based transport operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen, which will operate the franchise as Abellio Greater Anglia Limited, beat competition from UK transport companies Go- Ahead Group and Stagecoach to win the contract, which will start next February and run for 29 months.

The Greater Anglia rail franchise operates across the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire covering all routes currently operated by National Express East Anglia.

The new franchise will provide intercity, commuter and rural services throughout the region.

The franchise is due to start in February 2012. The duration of the contract is 29 months (32 railway periods). Upon taking over the contract Abellio will be responsible for 3,000 employees and the safe operation of 43,000 services per month, carrying 2 million passengers per week.

The first priority will be to ensure the seamless transition of operations to Abellio and start to deliver the improvements in customer service, station condition and operational performance that Abellio has committed to.

In addition Abellio will be focused on ensuring that the Greater Anglia network is ready to offer a major transport link to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Over the coming months the management team at Abellio will be working closely with NXEA, the Department for Transport, Transport for London, local stakeholders, employees and customers to ensure the smooth transfer.

Anton Valk, Chief Executive Officer, Abellio, said: "I am delighted Abellio has been selected for the Greater Anglifranchise. This win adds to Abellio’s already successfully operated franchises in the UK, Northern and Merseyrail and is a testament to the growing confidence that the Department for Transport has in our ability to bring positive change to rail services.”

Abellio also run buses in the UK, its London and Surrey bus company run 556 buses on 73 routes.