The franchise is currently operated by National Express East Anglia and stretches across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. It will be part of the transport provision for the London 2012 Games, serving the Olympic Park area.
Under the terms of the deal, Abellio will carry out a range of improvements, including upgrades to stations, new ticket facilities and better passenger information. Oyster pay-as-you-go services will be extended to ten stations on the Shenfield and Hertford East lines.
Other improvements to be delivered by the new franchise include:
- A new cycle hire scheme at Norwich station and cycle storage points at 15 stations, including space for 500 bicycles at Chelmsford.
- Up to 300 new car parking spaces, plus a further 300 at Shenfield and Wickford stations, subject to planning approval.
- Cleaning and painting of 141 stations across the franchise.