A RAIL boss has urged commuters to ask for upgrades at stations, including Chelmsford’s, before 2019.

Ruud Haket, managing director of Greater Anglia, wants passengers to lobby the Government to get investment for stations along the line between London and Norwich.

It follows Network Rail’s announcement earlier this month that £2.2billion will be spent on improving stations and infrastructure on the Great Eastern Line with work to take place over five years, starting in 2014.

However, Mr Haket has written to more than 200 passenger groups, councils and politicians asking them to get the Office of Rail Regulation, the Department for Transport and Network Rail to make the upgrades before 2019.

Mr Haket said: “We’re already doing what we can in the short term to upgrade services but this is a vital chance for us all to try and secure the additional infrastructure on the Great Eastern route we all wish to see, sooner rather than later.”

Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Rail Users’ Federation, said he was behind Mr Haket’s call, adding it was refreshing to hear the boss side with passengers.

Mr Monnery said: “If these changes are not completed by 2019, or at least well on their way to being completed, we’re going to have serious problems given the increase in people using the train we are going to see in the future.

“It’s refreshing to have Mr Haket on rail users’ side.”

Research suggests commuter numbers will rise by 49 per cent by 2031.