£2.2bn investment in East Anglia railways

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Media captionDetails of a £2.2bn package of investment in the rail network serving East Anglia have been unveiled

A £2.2bn investment in the rail network serving East Anglia will create more space for trains in and out of Liverpool Street, it has been revealed.

The five-year plan, announced by Network Rail, also includes the upgrading of power lines between London and Chelmsford.

It is part of £38bn of investment in the railways in the UK.

New tunnels at King's Cross will allow direct services to the South Coast from Cambridge.

Image copyright Mike Page
Image caption It is hoped congestion between Norwich, pictured, and Cambridge will be eased by the work

Abellio Greater Anglia has seen overall passenger growth on its network from 105 million journeys in 2010 to 124 million journeys in 2013.

Key projects over the next five years include:

  • Upgrading the Bow Junction near Liverpool Street to allow more trains to pass through
  • Replacing ageing tracks around Colchester and extending platform six to improve services
  • Continuing to improve safety at level crossings
  • Rebuilding Ely Junction North, relieving congestion between Norwich and Cambridge on the West Anglia line
  • Replacing a vital rail junction at Pitsea, reducing the number of days the section of track needs closing for route improvement work every year
  • Providing a new rail operating centre in Romford to control the entire railway in the Anglia region, covering parts of London, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire
  • Working with Transport for London to bring longer trains to the Overground and electrifying the Gospel Oak to Barking line, creating more space for passenger and freight services.
Image copyright Mike Page
Image caption Greater Anglia said it had seen overall passenger growth over the past three years

Adam Golton, interim managing director of Abellio Greater Anglia, said: "Our positive alliance with Network Rail has delivered improved train service performance since the existing Greater Anglia franchise began in February 2012."

Susan van de Ven, chair of the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group, said that investment was vital as the growth in housing in Cambridgeshire was leading to an increase in train use.

"If the government wants to see the economy grow in the Cambridge area there needs to be investment in rail and all forms of sustainable transport," she said.

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