A task force, comprising of Network Rail, Whitehall transport officials and MPs, is to be set up by chancellor George Osborne to examine ways in which the rail journey time between London and Norwich can be reduced to 90 minutes.
It is expected that improvements, including installing a loop at Chelmsford and incremental speed improvements on the route, will cost around £550 million and see journey times slashed by around 30 minutes.
The DfT has, in the shorter term, requested that train operator Abellio develop plans to refurbish their current fleet of trains and offer passengers improved facilities such as power sockets. The treasury has pledged no extra money for the scheme and it is expected that some of these plans will be included in the new franchise agreement which commences in 2016.
Eversholt Rail recently said that the soon to be redundant East Coast class 91s could be used on Anglia services ,once the Hitachi built ICEs are introduced, replacing the older class 90 currently in use on Greater Anglia services.
Tenders are currently being sought for the refurbishment of Greater Anglia’s fleet of carriages.