The Department for Transport has chosen Abellio to run rail services across the East of England from early next year. Abellio, a subsidiary of the Dutch state rail operator, will take over from National Express in February 2012 on a short term contract for 29 months. The franchise area includes the lines in Suffolk, Norfolk, much of Essex and Cambridgeshire, as well as the Stansted Express service.
Abellio will take on over 3,000 employees and run services that carry more than 2 million passengers each month. The company currently holds the Northern Rail and Merseyrail franchises.
The short term contract will see trains deep cleaned along with other improvements such as the introduction of an SMS/text service for passengers.