Newer, seven-year-old, trains to come into service on West Norfolk line

editorial image
Have your say

New trains will come into service on the line to and from Lynn this summer, although they’ve already been used elsewhere on the network for seven years.

Managers of Great Northern, the company which runs most passenger services between West Norfolk and London, say the move will replace trains which have been in service for more than two decades and will improve services to the public.

The announcement has also been welcomed by political leaders and transport campaigners in the borough.

The operator says the units, which have been in service for around seven years, are being released from the Thameslink line, where brand new trains will come into service later this year.

Officials say the stock offers improved access for disabled passengers, as well as air conditioning and automatic service announcements.

The announcement was made as a new Passenger Focus survey showed overall satisfaction levels with Great Northern services had risen by two percentage points to 84 per cent over the past year.

But many remain unhappy both with the cost of tickets and insufficient room for passengers on services.

Keith Jipps, the company’s customer services director, said: “We know we need to do more, in particular to improve punctuality, which is why we are working with Network Rail to improve track and signalling and recruiting many more train drivers.

“We’re also bringing in more reliable, modern trains this summer with air conditioning and projects to improve the experience at our stations.”

The move also follows renewed focus on the standard of rail services to and from West Norfolk in recent months, following Network Rail’s announcement that it was delaying improvement works on the Ely north junction until at least 2019.

Andy Tyler, secretary of the Fen Line Users Association, welcomed the announcement.

He said: “It’s a step up for us.”

Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council’s cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, also told the authority’s meeting on Thursday the announcement was “very good news.”