Newer trains and more capacity pledged for West Norfolk rail services

Train leaving King's Lynn Railway Station ANL-160316-152440009

Train leaving King's Lynn Railway Station ANL-160316-152440009

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Newer trains and more seats are being promised by West Norfolk’s main rail operator as part of a shake-up of its timetables.

Passengers in the borough are being urged to take part in a public consultation on new plans outlined by Govia Thameslink Railway.

The firm, the parent company of Great Northern which operates most passenger services to and from Lynn, says the measures will eventually lead to a substantial increase in capacity.

Phil Hutchinson, who is leading the project for the company, said: “This is about creating better connections and more capacity.

“It’s a once in a generation opportunity to restructure the timetable to give passengers more trains and the much better reliability we all want.”

The plans include the introduction of newer trains to the line linking Lynn, Cambridge and London from May next year, along with the provision of 48 extra carriages in a bid to address overcrowding issues.

The consultation documents also highlight work being done by Network Rail to allow eight carriage trains to run between Lynn and Cambridge, instead of the current four coach units.

But, while that would double capacity, there is still no firm date for it to happen, though the document suggests that it is hoped they will be in place by 2019.

The proposals also include more trains between Ely and London, as well as new, direct services from Cambridge to Gatwick airport and Brighton, running on a twice hourly basis.

Most of the measures are planned to be introduced in 2018 and the company claims that it is consulting passengers on its ideas earlier than any operator has done before.

Mr Hutchinson said: “This is a real opportunity for passengers and stakeholders get involved in an open, honest and transparent conversation about what the train service should be in the future.”

Passengers can have their say on the proposals online at www.greatnorthernrail.com/2018consultation.

Copies of the documents can also be obtained by writing to GTR Timetable Consultation, c/o East Side Offices, London Kings Cross Station N1C 4AP.

The survey, which began last Thursday, closes on December 8.