Winning communications with Abellios Greater Anglia rail franchise

By Graham Forbes

On the 10th August, the government announced that it had awarded the Greater Anglia rail franchise to public transport operator Abellio to oversee a £1.4 billion investment to local and Intercity rail services across East Anglia.

The new service for rail passengers across the East Anglia region promises to deliver more than 1,040 new state of the art train carriages and cut journey times by an average of 10%.

It will also deliver one of the biggest orders for British-built trains – almost £1 billion for 660 carriages from the Bombardier factory in Derby – as part of a contract that will secure 1,000 jobs into the next decade.


The mobilisation period to launch the new franchise on 16th October was short so time was of the essence in delivering key messages about the new franchise to all stakeholders and internally to many Greater Anglia company colleagues.

Laws of Attraction supported Abellio by creating a suite of internal communications to broadcast to Abellio’s employees at over 20 roadshows to mark the start of the epic transformation for the region’s rail network.

Laws of Attraction then also created an external stakeholder video which was screened at Liverpool Street station so that it could be viewed by passengers; at a major launch event attended by stakeholders and media; at a series of stakeholder roadshows held around East Anglia in the run-up to the launch and online on the Abellio and Greater Anglia websites.

The film was created using a mixture of animation, drone footage, live action and stock footage of East Anglia. Each of the different formats had to be balanced carefully to ensure that key messages Abellio wanted to convey were both clear and memorable.

The overall feedback was pride and excitement – which were exactly the emotions we were trying to elicit.

Edward Funnell from Abellio said, “We were looking for a film not just to communicate key messages but also to convey the transformation and dynamism of our new rail franchise.  Working to very tight deadlines, Laws of Attraction gave us a highly responsive service that combined creativity, experience and flexibility to ensure the end product delivered for us on both counts.”