Consultation progressing on train service capacity enhancements
In June, National Express East Anglia (NXEA) launched a 12 week consultation seeking the views of stakeholders and customers on plans to improve train service capacity on the NXEA network, following the announcement in the spring by the Department for Transport (DfT) of a major boost to rail capacity on NXEA services to and from London Liverpool Street. This will be achieved through the construction of 120 new rail carriages and the transfer of 68 additional modern refurbished carriages to provide a total of 188 extra carriages to be added to East Anglia services.
In the first stage towards the implementation of the additional trains, NXEA commenced a consultation exercise with key stakeholders in London and the East Anglia region. This consultation is currently in progress and will run until 11 September 2009. The purpose of this exercise is to set-out proposals for the deployment of the extra trains and the major passenger benefits that can be delivered over a phased period between December 2010 and December 2012 as the additional trains are introduced, and invites stakeholders and customers’ views and feedback on these proposals.
The proposals consider the options to:
- Increase capacity into Liverpool Street at peak travel times by an additional 11,000 seats.
- Deploy 120 new electric carriages on services to Stansted Airport and some Cambridge to Liverpool Street services.
- Improve the existing timetable to enable the introduction of 68 additional carriages on services to Chelmsford, Colchester, Clacton, Harwich, Braintree and Southend, and provide additional stops at some intermediate stations between Colchester and London.
- Provide more stops at Stratford, more trains from Ipswich and potential for a faster journey on a key morning peak train from Norwich.
- Consider a range of other options including longer trains on all Stansted Express services, provide additional carriages at peak times on the lines to Enfield, Chingford, Hertford and Bishop’s Stortford, consider options for the introduction of extra capacity on some peak Norwich to London intercity services and off-peak Ipswich/Colchester to London services, as well as extending most Norwich to Cambridge services from two to three carriages and Ipswich to Cambridge trains to two carriages.
- Introduce additional services between Ipswich and Saxmundham, and then an hourly Ipswich to Lowestoft service from December 2012, subject to the installation of the Beccles passing loop.
NXEA has welcomed the feedback received to date and is reminding stakeholders and customers that comments on the proposals can still be made up to the conclusion of the consultation period on 11 September 2009. A summary of the proposals can be viewed at www.nationalexpresseastanglia.com
The overwhelming priorities for NXEA is to deliver initiatives which will provide more seating capacity and extra services to benefit the majority of rail passengers, and in meeting the DfT’s requirements on capacity enhancement for the NXEA network.