Anglia Railways
5 January 1997 – 31 March 2004
Main route(s)Great Eastern Main Line
Other route(s)Norwich-Sheringham
Norwich-Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft
Norwich-Ely / Cambridge
Ipswich-Ely / Cambridge
Manningtree-Harwich (Boat Trains)
London Crosslink
Stations called at64
Parent companyGB Railways (1997–2003)
FirstGroup (2003–2004)
Reporting markAR
SuccessorNational Express East Anglia

Anglia Railways[1] was a train operating company in England, owned by GB Railways and later FirstGroup, that operated the Anglia franchise from January 1997 until March 2004.


The InterCity Anglia franchise was awarded by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising to GB Railways, with the franchise commencing on 5 January 1997.[2] In June 1998, Anglia Railways unveiled a turquoise and white livery.[3][4][5] Prior to 1997, the trains were run by British Rail sectors of InterCity, Regional Railways and Network SouthEast. After March 2004, the trains were run by National Express East Anglia.


Anglia Railways operated InterCity services on the Great Eastern Main Line from London Liverpool Street to Harwich International and Norwich. It also operated regional services between Ipswich & Felixstowe, Ipswich & Lowestoft, Ipswich & Ely, Harwich International / Ipswich & Cambridge, Ely & Peterborough, Norwich & Ely, Norwich & Sheringham, Norwich & Great Yarmouth and Norwich & Lowestoft.[6]

A franchise commitment was to increase the hourly London Liverpool Street and Norwich services to half-hourly.[7] The half-hourly service was introduced in 2000 with some extended to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

With funding from the Strategic Rail Authority's Rail Partnership Funding, Anglia introduced a new experimental service from the Great Eastern Main Line via the North London Line to Basingstoke branded London Crosslink. It operated from 22 May 2000 until ceasing on 28 September 2002 due to poor loadings.[8][9]

A more successful new service with Rail Partnership Funding was introduced on 29 September 2002 from Norwich to Cambridge. This continues to operate.[10]

Rolling stock

86218 NHS 50 propelling a down Norwich train past Pudding Mill Lane, 1999

Anglia Railways inherited a fleet of Class 86s, Mark 2 carriages, Driving Brake Standard Opens, Class 150s and Class 153s from British Rail. As part of the franchise, the fleet of Mark 2 carriages had a complete mechanical and interior refurbishment. On 10 June 1998, it unveiled its turquoise and white livery.[3] In June 1998, preserved Class 201 unit 1001 commenced an eleven-month lease operating services from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.[11]

To meet a franchise commitment to operate two services per hour between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, eight three-car Class 170 Turbostar units were delivered in 1999/2000.[12] These units were used on new services from Liverpool Street to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft; they was also used on London Crosslink services and, from September 2000, were hired to GB Railways' Hull Trains subsidiary to work services between London King's Cross and Hull. Due to late delivery of these units, Class 317s and Class 322s were hired from West Anglia Great Northern for a time.[13][14][15] A further four two-car Class 170s were delivered in 2002 and were used principally on the new Norwich to Cambridge services.

Anglia hired a Class 47 from Cotswold Rail, from June 2002, as a rescue locomotive and to haul Mark 2 sets on summer Saturday services to Great Yarmouth.[16]

In July 2002, Anglia hired a Class 90 from Freightliner for a few months with a view to replacing the Class 86s.[17][18] In October 2003, Anglia began operating three Class 90s from English, Welsh & Scottish Railway until the end of the franchise.[19][20]

Fleet at end of franchise
Class Image Type Top speed Number Built
mph km/h
47 Diesel locomotive 100 160 1, hired from
Cotswold Rail
86 Electric locomotive 15 1965–1966
90 110 177 3 1987–1990
150/2 Sprinter Diesel multiple unit 75 120 10 1984–1987
153 Super Sprinter 7 1987–1988
170/2 Turbostar 100 160 12 1999–2002
Mark 2 Passenger carriage 115 1964–1975
DBSO 13 1979–1986


Crown Point TMD in November 2001

Anglia Railways' fleet was maintained at Crown Point TMD in Norwich.


In 2002, as part of a franchise reorganisation by the Strategic Rail Authority, it was announced that the Anglia Railways franchise would be merged into the Greater Anglia franchise.[21] Having missed out on pre-qualifying for the Greater Anglia franchise, FirstGroup purchased GB Railways in August 2003.[22][23]

In December 2003, the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the Greater Anglia franchise to National Express with the services operated by Anglia Railways transferring to One on 1 April 2004.[24]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3006570 Anglia Railways Train Services Limited
  2. ^ "GB Railways wins Anglia". The Railway Magazine. No. 1149. January 1997. p. 11.
  3. ^ a b "Anglia Railways reveals new-look 86". Rail Magazine. No. 334. 1 July 1998. p. 12.
  4. ^ "New image for Anglia Railways". Rail Express. No. 27. August 1998. p. 6.
  5. ^ "Anglia Railways unveils new image". The Railway Magazine. No. 1168. August 1998. p. 13.
  6. ^ Anglia Railways route map December 2003 Anglia Railways
  7. ^ "Anglia orders eight new Adtranz DMUs to be delivered by June 1999". Rail Magazine. No. 327. 25 March 1998. p. 7.
  8. ^ "Anglia launches Crosslink service". The Railway Magazine. No. 1191. July 2000. p. 6.
  9. ^ "Farewell Crosslink: Seven passengers was not enough". Rail Magazine. No. 446. 16 October 2002. p. 18.
  10. ^ Rail Strategy Archived 26 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine Cambridgeshire Council
  11. ^ "Hastings DEMU hired by Anglia for 11 months". Rail Magazine. No. 333. 17 June 1998. p. 10.
  12. ^ "Anglia's first Turbostar delivered". Rail Magazine. No. 359. 16 June 1999. p. 47.
  13. ^ "All change in East Anglia". The Railway Magazine. No. 1181. September 1999. p. 11.
  14. ^ "WAGN helps out Anglia as Class 170/2s are late". Rail Express. No. 38. July 1999. p. 10.
  15. ^ "New link launched from Hull to London". Rail Magazine. No. 392. 20 September 2000. p. 14.
  16. ^ "47714 returns to the main line with Anglia". Rail Magazine. No. 438. 26 June 2002. p. 58.
  17. ^ "Anglia could take Class 90s to replace 86/2s". Rail Magazine. No. 441. 7 August 2002. p. 54.
  18. ^ "Class 90s set for Anglia Railways". The Railway Magazine. No. 1218. October 2002. p. 68.
  19. ^ "EWS starts Anglia Class 90 hire". Rail Magazine. No. 473. 29 October 2003. p. 74.
  20. ^ "Anglia opts for EWS Class 90s". The Railway Magazine. No. 1232. December 2003. p. 63.
  21. ^ "SRA wants fewer London operators to improve capacity". Rail Magazine. No. 426. 9 January 2002. p. 5.
  22. ^ GB Rail Offer Unconditional Archived 2013-10-04 at FirstGroup 14 August 2003
  23. ^ "First Group buys GB for $22million". The Railway Magazine. No. 1229. September 2003. p. 10.
  24. ^ National Express wins rail franchise The Daily Telegraph 22 December 2003
Preceded byInterCityAs part of British Rail Operator of Anglia franchise 1997–2004 Succeeded byOneGreater Anglia franchise