Background to today’s rail announcement: The road to Norwich in 90

A Greater Anglia train at Norwich on the main line service to London Liverpool Street. Photo: Bill S

A Greater Anglia train at Norwich on the main line service to London Liverpool Street. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

The clamour for Norwich in 90 started before the last general election in 2010.

Shaping Norfolk's Future, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce came up with the term, produced a logo and pledged to work together to improve the service on the main line trains between London and Norwich.

Former Labour transport minister Lord Adonis came up to Norwich to hear about the concerns taking shelter from the blustery weather in The Nelson.

But the campaign continued. Shaping Norfolk's Future was disbanded, but the local enterprise partnership New Anglia was formed and the MPs did not just form a coalition in government, but in the region too.

It has since expanded and the lobbying effort involves politicians and business leaders in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire too.

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The continued work resulted in the publication of Once in a Generation - a Rail Prospectus for East Anglia in 2012.

It puts forward the case for a realistic and technically feasible programme of improvements between now and 2032.

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The key aims are higher quality rolling stock; improved infrastructure; increased reliability and faster journey times.

The group's long term vision was to secure faster journey times along the route for commuter and Inter-City services with headline targets including Chelmsford in 25 mins, Colchester in 40 mins, Manningtree in 50 mins, Ipswich in 60 mins, Stowmarket in 70 minutes, Diss in 80 and Norwich in 90 mins, with no reduction in frequency and number of stations currently served.

This means all trains should be capable of running at 110mph.

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