The UK Department of Transport (DfT) has selected Abellio East Anglia as the preferred bidder for the East Anglia franchise.
The franchise is expected to start in October this year and will run until 2025.
UK transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era. By awarding this franchise to Abellio East Anglia we will improve journeys for people in East Anglia.
“Abellio’s decision will ensure our train building industry in Derby remains strong.
“This is part of our plan to make an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few, by ensuring prosperity is spread throughout the country.”
Under the franchise, £1.4bn will be invested in the complete refurbishment of the current fleet, with the delivery of 1,043 new carriages between January 2019 and September 2020.
Abellio has awarded a £1bn contract to Bombardier Transportation for the supply of 660 new Aventra electric multiple-unit passenger trains.
The investment will also include introduction of free Wi-Fi services on trains and in stations.
At least two trains per weekday in each direction will be launched between London and Norwich with a journey time of 90 minutes, and two trains per day between London and Ipswich with a 60 minute journey time.
Additionally, 1,144 new weekday services will be introduced to stations including Cambridge, Norwich, Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, Southend and London Liverpool Street.
New ticketing initiatives such as new offers for part time users and those who don’t travel every day will also be available from October next year, in addition to automatic ‘delay repay’ for season and advance purchase tickets.
Image: The new franchise will introduce 1,144 new weekday services to Cambridge, Norwich, Stansted Airport, Lowestoft, Southend and London Liverpool Street stations. Photo: courtesy of gov.uk.