UK Transport Wiki

Franchise(s):Greater Anglia
1 April 2004 - 31 March 2011
(optionally 31 March 2014)
Main region(s):East of England
Other region(s):London
Fleet size:267
Stations called at:167
National Rail abbreviation:LE
Parent company:National Express Group

National Express East Anglia was a train operating company and brand name of London Eastern Railway Ltd in the United Kingdom. It was part of the National Express Group and was branded as ‘one’ from 1 April 2004 to 26 February 2008.[1] It provided local, suburban and express services from Liverpool Street station in the City of London to destinations in the railway franchise known as the Greater Anglia network, stretching from north and east Greater London to Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk in East Anglia.


The franchise began on 1 April 2004 and ran until 31 March 2011. It combined the services previously operated by Anglia Railways, First Great Eastern and the West Anglia (WA) division of WAGN. The large franchise was created in order to improve efficiency and reliability as part of a move to reduce the number of train operating companies providing services from a single London terminal. As a result of the new franchise, the number of operators on the Great Eastern Main Line was reduced, with the company operating most services on the line.[2]

Brand identity[]

File:90007 Liverpool Street.jpg

A Class 90 locomotive in the previous 'one' livery, prior to rebranding.

The area names from the former franchises were initially retained by the new franchise. However, all services other than Stansted Express were later branded simply ‘one’. On 12 November 2007 it was announced that, as part of a company-wide re-branding exercise, National Express would change the name of the franchise to National Express East Anglia on 27 February 2008.[1] On 11 December 2007 the first Class 90 locomotive to have been re-liveried was rolled out of the Crown Point depot at Norwich and was pictured in service the next day.[3]


In addition to its domestic services the company is also a partner, with Stena Line and Nederlandse Spoorwegen, in the Dutchflyer service. All services to and from London run from the Liverpool Street terminus. It is visited by 123 million people a year.[4]

Former franchise Services
Great Eastern
West Anglia
Stansted Express
  • express services between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport

National Express' branding for the Stansted Express

Rolling stock[]

The company operated a fleet of Class 153, 156 and 170 DMUs for the local lines, with Class 315, 317, 321 and 360 EMUs for the mainline commuter services, and Class 90 locomotives with Mark 3 coaching stock for the intercity services.

Much of the rolling stock is in need of modernisation; Class 150s have been replaced by 153s and 156s from Central Trains. The Class 170s are used predominantly on longer services, as they have slower acceleration than the Class 153 and 156 stock, meaning they cannot stick to the timetables of the many local lines.

As of 2008, the Class 360s were being debranded, and are wearing a lilac livery with white doors. The 'Great Eastern' vinyls are being taken off. The Class 315, Class 317 (those in the ‘one’ livery) and Mark 3 units are also being debranded- ‘one’ logos have been removed, and the distinctive "rainbow" car ends painted over with the same blue as the rest of the body, and more recently have an interim National Express East Anglia branding on, the same style as used on former GNER Mk3s and Mk4s.

Fleet at end of franchise[]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 90 File:90012 at Liverpool Street 2.jpg electric locomotive 110† 177† 15 Great Eastern Main Line London to Norwich 1987 - 1990
Class 153 Super Sprinter File:153335 'Michael Palin' at Cambridge.JPG diesel multiple unit 75 120 5 Ipswich-Cambridge, Ipswich-Lowestoft/Felixtowe, Norwich-Great Yarmouth, Norwich-Lowestoft, Norwich-Sheringham, Sudbury-Marks Tey 1987 - 1988
Class 156 Super Sprinter File:156419 at Sudbury 1.jpg diesel multiple unit 75 120 9 Ipswich-Cambridge, Ipswich-Lowestoft/Felixtowe, Norwich-Great Yarmouth, Norwich-Lowestoft, Norwich-Sheringham, Sudbury-Marks Tey 1987 - 1989
Class 170 Turbostar File:170206 at Marks Tay.jpg diesel multiple unit 100 160 12 Cambridge - Norwich and Liverpool Street - Peterborough/Lowestoft 1999 - 2002
Class 315 File:Class 315s at London Liverpool Street.jpg electric multiple unit 75 120 61 Liverpool Street - Shenfield/Southend/Southminster, Romford - Upminster, plus West Anglia Metro Services, and the Lea Valley 1980
Class 317 File:NXEA 317506 Liverpool Street AB1.JPG electric multiple unit 100 160 60 Stansted Express, Liverpool Street - Cambridge/Hertford East/Enfield Town, and Hertford East/Broxbourne - Stratford 1981 - 1987
Class 321 File:27-01-08 1324.jpg electric multiple unit 100 160 77 Mainline routes between Ipswich, Walton, Colchester, Braintree, Southminster, Southend, Witham and London, Colchester - Colchester Town, occasionally replacing 360's from London to Clacton/Harwich 1988 - 1990
Class 360 Desiro File:Class 360 118 desiro in nxea at liverpoolstreet.jpg electric multiple unit 100 160 21 Mainline routes between Ipswich, Clacton, Harwich and London 2002 - 2003
Mk3 Coach File:Mk3 Coaches Liverpool Street.jpg Passenger Rolling stock 125† 200† Over 100 Great Eastern Main Line London to Norwich 1975 - 1988
File:Mk3DVT-82208 at Liverpool Street.jpg Driving Van Trailer 110† 177† about 15 Great Eastern Main Line London to Norwich 1988

Past fleet[]

Class Image Type Built Withdrawn
Class 86 File:86227 'Golden Jubilee' at Ipswich.JPG electric locomotive 1964 - 1975 2005
Class 150 File:150245 at Cambridge.JPG Diesel multiple unit 1985 - 1987 2004
Class 312 File:312718 and 312721 at Kirby Cross.JPG electric multiple unit 1975 - 1978 2004
Mark 2 coach File:Mk 2F TSO 6035 at Carlisle.JPG Passenger Rolling Stock 1964 - 1975 2005
File:Rail-DBSO-9710-amoswolfe.jpg DBSO Control Car 1979 2006

Future fleet[]

The Government's rolling stock plan will see the franchise take on additional Class 321s from London Midland. National Express will also secure the order of new build EMUs for its services in West Anglia to Stansted Airport, which will allow the release of a number of Class 317 units.[5]


Unlike many other operators in the London area, the company allows Oyster card pay as you go to be used on a limited number of its services and has announced roll-out plans for the remaining stations in Greater London.[6]


Infrastructure problems have caused problems with performance. According to Network Rail, the main problems have been track circuit failures, broken rails, track faults, points failures and overhead line equipment (OLE) failures.[7] Network Rail, who are responsible for the infrastructure, intended to improve performance by work carried out during a planned closure of Liverpool Street station over Christmas and New Year 2007/8. This allowed much of the outer London overhead line equipment to be replaced by modern, self-tensioning lines.[7] The work was carried out, but over-ran at short notice by some 24 hours, causing ridicule in the national press.[8]

Detailed figures (from the January edition of Modern Railways) of the miles covered per 5-minute delay for the year ending October 2007 showed that all of the operator's trains had improved over the previous year, with the exception of the Stansted Express trains. The greatest improvement (71%) was to the 'Intercity' (Norwich-Liverpool Street) locomotive-hauled trains. The 51% increase in reliability of the Turbostar trains (as used on services to Yarmouth and Peterborough, as well as the Cambridge-Norwich route) led to their being the most reliable new-generation diesel multiple units in the country. The most reliable trains in the fleet were the Class 360 Desiros (mainly Clacton - Liverpool Street), which achieved over 35,000 miles per 5-minute delay.

For the 12 months to 8 December 2007, the average punctuality for all services was 89.6%.[9] Where delays occur the company has paid compensation to those who request it as part of their Passengers' Charter.[10] The latest performance figures for the third quarter of the 2007-8 year released by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) were 88.3% for the public performance measure (PPM)[11] for the quarter and 90.0% for the moving annual average (MAA)[11] for the twelve months up to the end of the third quarter. Both of these measures are up on the previous year.


External links[]


Preceded by
Anglia Railways
Anglia franchise
Operator of Greater Anglia franchise
2004 - present
Preceded by
First Great Eastern
Great Eastern franshise
Preceded by
West Anglia Great Northern franchise