£2bn on track for East Anglia’s railways

East Anglia has secured an investment from network rail to the tune of £2 billion to provide a better performing railway service for Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and London.

The grant will be spent on maintaining and renewing existing infrastructure with the effects likely to be seen between 2019 and 2024. Meliha Duymaz, the Network Rail route director for Anglia, has said that the investment ‘will make a real difference to the rail network in the Anglia region’.

‘We have seen a huge growth in passengers over recent years and our track, signals, structures and equipment are under more pressure than ever’, Meliha Duymaz continued. 13 percent more trains are forecast to call across East Anglia by 2024 with the capacity for up to 27 trains an hour on the Great Eastern Mainline between Norwich and London Liverpool Street, up from 22 per hour at present.

Furthermore, £350 million will contribute towards resignalling schemes in key areas such as Cambridge and Clacton which aims to create a reduction in delays across the network while £400 million will be put towards renewing and refurbishing nearly a quarter of the track. Safety at stations will also be improved with funding from the investment.

The route is going to see some changes and new timetables are set to be rolled out with additional services that start earlier and finish later. The Network Rail website boasts ‘Investment in rail infrastructure in Control Period 6 (CP6) is critical to power economic growth and to make Anglia a place where people want to live, work and invest’.

The East of England has the fastest growth in employment in England outside of London and contributes significantly to the UK economy, a development that can now be supported by the improvements to its rail network. CP6 is part of a larger long-term effort to improve the network overall, a plan that looks ahead as far as 2043.

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Max Pleasance

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November 2021
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