East Anglian train timetables see little change – but a rail revolution is coming
- Credit: Archant
Rail timetables on services in many parts of Britain changed dramatically yesterday as companies brought in new trains with different service patterns.
These changes do not affect Greater Anglia – there are a few extra trains, especially at weekends, but no major changes to most services this year.
However, bosses at the company will be looking at how other companies have changed their service patterns because Greater Anglia is preparing for major service changes at the end of next year and in 2020.
These changes will come in once most of the new trains have been delivered – starting with the Stadler 'Flirt' trains currently being built in Switzerland.
New timetables for the Intercity and regional routes – including faster trains to Ipswich and Norwich, and hourly service from Ipswich to Peterborough and through trains from Lowestoft to London via Ipswich should come in during December 2019.
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More improvements to commuter services from Ipswich and Essex to London should come in during 2020 as more Bombardier Aventra trains are delivered from Derby.
The problems with a major change were shown on Sunday – and were expected to be shown up again when commuters returned to work yesterday morning.
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More than four million trains across Britain were rescheduled in the largest timetable change for decades. The number of alterations is seven times larger than normal due to the introduction of new trains and services following billions of pounds of investment.
Departure times will change for every train run by the UK's busiest franchise – Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) – which consists of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express.
There will be almost 400 additional GTR trains every day. The company says it will have space for an extra 50,000 passengers travelling to London in the morning peak each day.
There were also changes to rail services in the north of England – although some have been put off because of delays to electrification work.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said: 'Having plenty of staff on the ground from the start and during the initial transition, when changes bed down, will be critical.'