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Billions set to improve region’s rail services

Greater Anglia train
Greater Anglia train

Travel times are set to be cut, with more than 1,000 new carriages in line to be added to the rail line between Norwich and London.

The announcement came as part of Network Rail’s Anglia route, which has set out its plan to invest more than £2 billion to enable more trains, faster services and better connections.

The funding will also help maintain the performance of services.

The plans, set out in Network Rail’s strategic business plan, will accommodate more rail services on the line, as well as maintaining a safe and efficient railway.

Network Rail will also work with Greater Anglia to help introduce 1,000 new carriages and reduce travel times between London and Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich.

Forecasts show that between 2013-23, demand for rail travel on the Great Eastern main line into Liverpool Street will grow significantly, as will demand on the West Anglia main line, which runs from Cambridge to Liverpool Street. Freight demand is also expected to grow.

The plan also includes more than £2 billion to operate, maintain and renew the railway during this period.

This covers more than £400 million to improve the condition of the track, and more than £70 million to refurbish the overhead line equipment on the lines out of Fenchurch Street, as well as key resignalling projects at Cambridge and Clacton.

Network Rail also aims to further develop passenger safety through better inspection techniques and better asset management.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Investment in rail is critical to powering economic growth with more trains, faster services and better connections, which is a key part of our railway upgrade plan.

“This also means greater demand on the network as we address the challenge of running more services while maintaining performance and reliability, which we know is what is most important to passengers.”

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