Trains in Norfolk and Suffolk are 27 years old on average, statistics reveal

Greater Anglia Abellio's rolling stock is, on average, 27 years old, statistics have revealed. Bylin

Greater Anglia Abellio's rolling stock is, on average, 27 years old, statistics have revealed. Byline: Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The age of trains on Norfolk and Suffolk's railways is almost 30 years on average, an investigation has found, with claims that passengers are 'paying through the nose for decrepit trains'.

Greater Anglia Abellio's rolling stock is 27 years old on average, while the stock of East Midlands Trains are 24 years old on average, according to statistics from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

They are both above the national average - where rolling stock is now 21 years old on average.

However, Greater Anglia Abellio stressed that, under the new nine-year franchise it was awarded this year, its entire fleet of trains will be replaced with 1,043 brand new carriages.

East Midlands Trains, which is looking to retain the franchise which includes services from Norwich to Liverpool, after 2018, is also proposing a new fleet of bi-mode 'inter-city style' trains to replace High Speed Trains.


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The ORR said older trains can result in less comfortable journeys, poorer reliability and worse performance than modern versions, although it also noted that older rolling stock can be refurbished.

Travellers using the Caledonian Sleeper service between London and Scotland are provided with Britain's oldest trains on average, at 41 years.

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Ed Cox, director of think-tank IPPR North, said: 'It is little wonder that Britain lags behind other developed nations when commuters pay through the nose for decrepit trains.'

Rail fares increase by an average of 2.3pc across Britain from Monday.

A spokesman for Greater Anglia Abellio said new stock was on its way, through the re-awarded franchise, which will all be in service by the end of 2020.

He said: 'We are seeing the biggest introduction of rolling stock in franchise history and all of our fleet replaced with new trains. We are delighted to see the start of investment in East Anglia.'

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century and will be rolling out more than 5,000 carriages over the next four years which offer more seats, wi-fi and air conditioning.'

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