Greater Anglia’s £1m budget to make trains more reliable
13:16 20 March 2014
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Rail operator Greater Anglia is to spend £1 million over the next few months in a bid to improve the reliability of its services – especially those off the main line.
In north Suffolk and Norfolk, there are likely to be more trains pulled by “heritage” diesel locomotives – some 50 years old – between Lowestoft and Norwich in a bid to overcome a shortage of modern units.
Greater Anglia is also now recruiting more maintenance staff for its main Crown Point depot in Norwich and will have more staff on hand round the clock to try to ease any problems that happen.
Investment also includes further modifications to trains on the West Anglia route from King’s Lynn to London to improve door reliability.
A spokesman for Abellio Greater Anglia said the company had better punctuality levels since the beginning of the existing short franchise in February 2012 but it had faced a number of challenges over the last five months.
These included problems caused by the severe weather – including flooding, minor landslips, waterlogged equipment, and more than 200 trees brought down in the storm on October 28.
In addition, carriage availability had been hit by a range of issues including flood damage, fatalities and the consequences of maintenance and refurbishment.
Adam Golton, interim managing director, Abellio Greater Anglia said: “This significant investment and actions illustrate our real commitment to raise standards and deliver the best service possible for our passengers. We are investing in additional resources and putting in place robust plans to improve performance.
“Although we have raised punctuality levels during our franchise, the last few months have not been as consistent, so we are taking action to restore more reliable services and provide greater resilience.
“We believe these steps will ensure better performance and more consistent provision of planned seating capacity and the scheduled train formations.
“We are starting to see better performance again and we intend to maintain that trend and keep on improving, working with the Department for Transport to try and agree further upgrades and provide the enhanced quality of service customers rightly expect and we intend to deliver.”
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