Extra carriages for Norwich-Cambridge line

A step towards unlocking the potential of the Norfolk economy has taken place with the introduction of more train carriages on the Norwich to Cambridge line, according to one MP.

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, said he would continue to campaign for more investment along the popular commuter route but saw this week's move by National Express as an important first step.

More than 800,000 journeys every year are made between the two cities since the route was launched in 2002, which has stops at Wymondham, Attleborough, Thetford and Brandon. Passenger journeys have soared by more than 70pc in the last five years.

'I'm hugely keen on this and I've been campaigning on it for a while. The Norwich to Cambridge railway line is an essential part of the infrastructure required to unlock the potential of the Norfolk economy,' said Mr Freeman.

'By connecting the science and technology on the Norwich Research Park with Cambridge we have the potential to unlock new jobs and opportunities in three key sectors for Norfolk - food, bio medicine and clean tech.

'In the long term I would like to see much more investment in faster trains and more frequent services so that people in Norfolk can access these opportunities more easily.'

On Friday representatives from National Express East Anglia gathered at Wymondham train station to officially launch the longer trains, which came into service on Monday.

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Each service along the route has now been supplemented with an additional carriage - increasing each train's size from two carriages to three.

Two additional services have also been introduced on the line on Sundays.

Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: 'The Norwich to Cambridge line is a great success story and we want to encourage even more passengers to take the train by providing more seats on our services.

'The upgrade from two carriage Class 170 trains to three carriage Class 170 trains which we have now introduced enables the growth in passenger numbers to continue.

'Allied with the additional Sunday services it makes the train an excellent and sustainable alternative to the A11.'