125mph train service plan through Chelmsford

TRAINS travelling to and from Chelmsford could whizz past at 125mph if upgrades are introduced by a rail operator.

Greater Anglia chiefs showed representatives from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk county councils plans which with major investment could improve services along the London to Norwich line.

It follows the publication of the Great Eastern Mainline Capacity Study, conducted by infrastructure consultants Atkins, which identifies areas for improvements.

Currently trains can travel up to 100mph but the report says with “infrastructure improvements” this can be increased by 25mph, meaning journeys between Ipswich and London could take just 55 minutes.

Along with the increased travelling speed, the report also suggests a new three-track section be built in Boreham and upgrading the rolling stock of train carriages.

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs for Greater Anglia, said they are “committed” to delivering significant upgrades.

He added: “We have already delivered a number of enhancements in the ten months since our franchise began, including some notable initiatives, such as better weekend services on the Great Eastern Mainline, achieved through closer working from our alliance with Network Rail.

“It is clear this collaborative approach, allied with a strong, evidence-based business case is the best way to try and ensure we gain the investment necessary to realise passengers and stakeholders’ future aspirations.”

Commuter groups have given their thumbs-up to the suggestions made in the report.

Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Rail Users Federation, said he thought the proposed upgrades will “greatly help” commuters.

He added: “There is a lot of congestion on the Great Eastern mainline already with many trains running at full capacity.

“The line really does need extra track so faster trains have more space to overtake slower services and there is a stretch of line between Chelmsford and Witham which would be ideal for more track.”

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