Abellio first won the Greater Anglia franchise in 2012. It re-won the franchise in October 2016
In early 2017 40 per cent of Abellio was sold to Japanese company Mitsui. The 150-year-old company operates in a diverse array of sectors and is the first Japanese company to take a stake in a British TOC.
At the time of the sale, which had been announced three months earlier in December, Abellio managing director Dominic Booth said the ‘long-standing objective of running the franchise as a sixty-forty joint venture’ had been fulfilled by the sale.
Greater Anglia began operating in 2012 under Abellio, the international arm of the state-owned railway of the Netherlands.
It operates commuter services between London Liverpool Street and destinations such as Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, the Stansted Express, intercity services between Norwich and London, as well as many of the regional services across East Anglia.
Investment and advancement
With the inception of the new franchise in October 2016, Abellio announced it would invest £1.4 billion in fleet replacement which resulted in 33,000 new train seats at morning and evening peak travel times.
Heavy investment has been made in the new trains with 665 carriages being built by Bombardier in Derby and 378 by Stadler in Switzerland, as well as advancement in the passenger experience.
A mobile app was introduced which features live travel updates, service information and multiple ticket purchasing options. Other steps forward include seasonal smart card tickets and the Delay Repay scheme.
The Delay Repay scheme offers compensation of 50 per cent of the ticket price for delays of more than 30 minutes.
Delays over an hour result in a hundred per cent compensation for single tickets and 50 per cent for returns, with a hundred per cent compensation offered to any ticket holder when the delay is over two hours long.
The new trains are an answer to customer attitudes. Only 29 per cent of passengers were satisfied with the old train’s Wi-Fi and forty per cent complained of a lack of power sockets. The new trains will have far better onboard Wi-Fi and a higher number of power sockets available as well.
The new rolling stock will start operating in 2019 with bigger carriages and faster acceleration, which Greater Anglia believes will allow them to get between stations more quickly. This will increase the frequency of its service without having to increase the top speed or number of trains on the track.
Managing Director: Jamie Burles
Train Service Delivery Director: Jay Thompson
Engineering Director: Colin Dobson
Commercial and Customer Services Director: Martin Moran
Franchise and Programmes Director: Ian McConnell
Asset Management Director: Simone Bailey
HR Director: Katy Bucknell
Finance Director: Adam Golton
Business Readiness Director: Andrew Goodrum