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Chancellor asked to approve £500 million rail upgrade for Norwich to London

Today the Chancellor has been asked to sanction the £476 million pound upgrade for the Norwich to London rail line in next month's Autumn statement.

If he does, journey times from the Capital to Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk will be reduced within the next decade.

The big investment would not only attract billions of pounds to the region, it would also bring in thousands of new jobs.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson.

New report calls for more investment in the region's railways

Photocall at Norwich station before the report is sent to London Credit: ITV News Anglia
Great Eastern Rail Campaign Credit: ITV News Anglia

A new report that's been put together by business leaders, calling for more investment in railway services in the east, is being taken to Government today.

The report which has taken a year to compile, asks for half a billion pounds to improve the railways.

Click below to watch a short clip from Mark Pendlington who has worked on the report and is the Chair of the New Anglia LEP.

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Train report calls for nearly £500m investment in the region's transport links

Campaign for faster links to Liverpool Street Credit: PA

A report submitted today is calling on the Chancellor to announce an investment of more than £475 million in the Great Eastern Mainline in his autumn statement.

Campaigners claim that investment in the region's transport links could unlock £4.5 billion of economic potential.

Improve infrastructure plea Credit: ITV News Anglia

The report calls the investment a "once in a lifetime opportunity" and details key improvements needed for a faster train service.

We could be the California of Europe, yet we have some of the oldest trains in Britain.

Our rail service is over-crowded, the infrastructure not resilient to failures. It is as quick to go 225 miles over land and sea from London to Brussels as it is on the train to Norwich, over half the distance.

We can’t go on like this.

– Great Eastern Main Line Rail Taskforce

Delays on Greater Anglia trains because of 'poor rail conditions'

There are delays on the Norwich to London rail line because of "poor rail conditions" at Stowmarket.

Abellio Greater Anglia says there could be hold-ups of up to 15 minutes on services from Ipswich, Clacton, Colchester, Braintree and Norwich.

"Customers are advised Network Rail have their Railhead Treatment Train operating over Greater Anglia route and are doing everything possible to reduce delays to train services. We thank you for your patience and understanding."

– Abellio Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia reveal new train carriages on Norwich to London line

The carriages are due to be upgraded. Credit: Greater Anglia

Train carriages on the Norwich to London rail line are to be upgraded with power points for phones and computers, plus LED lighting, new carpets and seat covers.

Abellio Greater Anglia has agreed a deal for the work with Vossloh, who say the upgrade work will be carried out in Norwich.

The work should be completed in two years time. Credit: Greater Anglia

The first refurbished trains will be in use early next year and the work should be completed in two years time.

What new features will be available?

  • Plug points
  • New LED lighting
  • New carpets
  • New tables
  • New seat covers
  • Upgraded environmentally-friendly controlled emission toilets, including new floors and new taps
  • Re-painting of the carriage interior saloon and vestibule panels, walls and ceilings

"We are delighted to sign this contract with Vossloh Kiepe UK for the upgrade of our MkIII carriage fleet.

This major refresh will deliver a significant improvement in the travelling environment for passengers on our key intercity services between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London, with the first upgraded carriages due into service in the first quarter of next year."

– Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director

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And the problems on the trains continue...

There are yet more problems on the region's rail network this evening - for the third time in 24 hours.

A points failure at Witham means many of the services on the London Liverpool Street to Norwich line are disrupted with some trains delayed and others beginning or ending at different stations.

Greater Anglia has already had to apologise twice in the last 24 hours following an overhead power line problem in Essex last night and a signalling failure close to Liverpool Street this morning.

Network Rail admitted both incidents led to unacceptable disruption for passengers.

Some found themselves sitting on trains for hours with journeys taking up to six times as long as they should have.

MP in talks with Greater Anglia rail boss

A Class 90 loco on the Norwich to London line Credit: ITV News Anglia

The new Managing Director of Abellio Greater Anglia will be meeting with an Essex MP today to discuss concerns about rail services.

The Dutch owned rail company has recently been given a two year extension to its franchise. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Witham Conservative MP Priti Patel is a member of the Rail taskforce which is championing improvements on the Great Eastern Main Line.

She'll be meeting Jamie Burles at the House of Commons.

Rail problems should be cleared by lunchtime

Greater Anglia

Abellio Greater Anglia say they hope the disruption caused by over running engineering works at Colchester should be resolved by lunchtime.

All lines are now open, however disruption is expected until around 12:00.

Ticket restrictions have been lifted, and today's tickets may be used on Tuesday. The company is still advising passengers to avoid travelling if possible or to revise travel plans.

To add to their problems the company website had crashed.

Rail passengers warned to expect disruption between Norwich and London

Rail passengers travelling between Norwich and London over the weekends, will face disruption for the next couple of months. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Rail passengers travelling between Norwich and London over the weekends will face disruption for the next couple of months.

Because of track replacement work, people will have to change trains at Colchester.

Greater Anglia has amended its timetable to accommodate the £7 million project by Network Rail.

The work starts this weekend and is due to continue until July.

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