Great Eastern

First Great Eastern

First Great Eastern was an award winning train operating company (TOC) that operated suburban, local and medium distance train services from London Liverpool Street via Romford to Essex and Ipswich in the United Kingdom on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) railway.

First Group gained the Great Eastern franchise in 1997 as part of the Privatisation of British Rail. In 2003, as part of a franchise reorganisation planned by the then Strategic Rail Authority, the Great Eastern was to be merged to form a 'Greater Anglia' franchise. This new contract was won by National Express Group who took over First Great Eastern operations on April 1, 2004 using the brand name 'one', which has since been rebranded as National Express East Anglia.

Most lines previously served by First Great Eastern are electrified with 25 kV AC overhead catenary wires, with the exception of the Marks Tey to Sudbury branch line, which is served by diesel units.

Branches served


Class Image Type Top speed Number Built
mph km/h
Class 312 electric multiple unit 90 145 24 1966-70
Class 315 electric multiple unit 75 120 61 1979-1980
Class 321 electric multiple unit 100 160 77 1986-88
Class 360 Desiro electric multiple unit 100 160 21 2002 - 2003

A diesel multiple unit (DMU), was used on the Sudbury-Marks Tey branch line due to the lack of electrification, a Class 150 Sprinter, was used on weekdays and a Class 153 Sprinter at weekends. This was an unspecified unit from the Anglia Railways fleet based at Norwich, swapped daily.

External links

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