First 'Norwich in 90' train marks start of faster journey times
The fastest ever train service between Norwich and London started on Monday 20 May 2019 – cutting down the scheduled journey time to just 90 minutes.
The launch of faster trains between East Anglia and London was heralded as “the start of the transformation of rail services in the region”.
Greater Anglia is now running four extra services between Norwich, Ipswich and London Liverpool street.
Fastest journey times between Norwich and London are now 90 minutes and just 55-57 minutes between Ipswich and London on these extra four services a day.
Jamie Burles, Managing Director of Greater Anglia said: “The launch of our new faster services between Norwich, Ipswich and London, is another big step in the transformation of our railway in East Anglia.
“For the launch we travelled on our existing trains, but this service will run on our brand new Intercity trains as we replace all of our existing trains with brand new state-of-the-art modern trains.
“As customers speed through East Anglia into London they’ll be able to enjoy longer trains, with more seats, USB and plug points, wifi, better passenger information and improved accessibility.”
Businesses and politicians in East Anglia have been calling for faster journey times between Norfolk, Suffolk and London for ten years.
The service was championed through the East Anglian Rail Prospectus and Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, which was represented on the first journey by Chris Starkie, chief executive of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and also key member of the Great Eastern Mainline Taskforce.
The 90-minute services will depart Norwich at 09.00 and 17.00, calling at Ipswich at 09.33 and 17.33, and London Liverpool Street at 11.00 and 19.00, calling at Ipswich at 11.55 and 19.57, and will operate on Mondays to Saturdays.
They will shave 12 minutes off the current fastest journey between Norwich and London and cut the fastest journey between Ipswich and London by 4 minutes.
These are introductory times, which could change in subsequent re-issues of the Greater Anglia timetable, which should see many other journey times cut when all new trains are in place.
Chris Sargisson, Chief Executive of Norfolk Chambers of Commerce said: “Norfolk Chambers has been campaigning for an improved rail service for many years and we are delighted that Norwich in 90 is now becoming a reality. The new Greater Anglia timetable with the first two services for Norwich in 90 are the first steps towards delivering a transformation of rail services for commuters and business travellers alike, which will be worth billions of pounds of investment to Norfolk and East Anglia.”
Priti Patel, MP for Witham, said: “Having established the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce in 2013 and worked closely with rail user groups, local businesses, and MPs, I am delighted to see these new services getting underway today.
“The new ‘Norwich in 90’ and ‘Ipswich in 60’ services are another major achievement for the Taskforce and featured in our original rail investment prospectus to the Government for the Greater Anglia franchise.
“These new services build on GEML’s other recent successes including the launch of Delay Repay 15, passenger refunds for late running services over 15 minutes, and the securing of more than £1bn funding for new Greater Anglia trains due to come into service within a matter of weeks.”
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail Anglia’s route managing director, said: “Delivering these faster services for passengers into the new timetable has been a real joint effort, and along with Greater Anglia, we know that Norwich in 90 will provide better journeys for the people who live and work in the region as well as supporting the local economy.
“Recent performance on the route has been some of the best in years, and together we’re working on various initiatives to make journeys better for everyone.”