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  • East Midlands Trains unveils first reliveried HST and names a powercar ‘Terry Miller MBE’

    30/04/2008

    Train operator East Midlands held a celebration event in Leeds today. At the event the company honoured ‘Terry Miller MBE’ (see note 2) by naming their first reliveried East Midlands Trains powercar (43048) after him.

    Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, hosting the event said ”It is with great pride that we honour Terry by naming one of our powercars after him. He is a true giant in the history of the railway and his design has stood the test of time. It quite impressive that we are still talking about him and his work over 30 years later. To get an idea of just what an incredible design Terry gave us, you only have to look at our HST fleet’s current performance – operating at a peak of 18,000 miles per five minutes delay (see note 7). We believe this is the best performance ever for an HST fleet and is comparable with the performance of many more recently designed engines.”

    The nameplate was unveiled by John Miller, Terry Miller’s son. John said “I am so pleased to be here on behalf of my father who would have been very proud today. He toiled very hard over this project and it's great for him to be honoured in this way."

    Roger Ford, railway commentator and expert who has long campaigned for Terry to be honoured in this way said “As British Rail's Chief Engineer for Traction & Rolling Stock, Terry led the design team at Derby Railway Technical Centre which produced the High Speed Train, the mainstay of long distance rail travel in the UK for 30 years and destined to stay in front line service for another decade. The HST remains the standard by which other trains are judged and, as East Midlands Trains chart topping reliability figures show, is still getting better. I have long been of the opinion that like the great engineers of steam, Terry Miller should have his name on one of his creations.

    "His unique train is a combination of vision and caution, Terry under promised and over achieved with this design.”

    For those not able to attend the event today ‘Terry Miller MBE’ will enter service on  Friday 2nd May and will operate the 07.26 service from Leeds to St. Pancras International calling at Sheffield (08.27), Chesterfield (08.40), Derby (09.01) and Leicester (09.28). If you wish to visit any of these stations to photograph the train please call the East Midlands Trains press office 01332 262010.

        


    NOTES TO EDITORS

    2) Terry Miller MBE was born in 1909. He served as a premium apprentice under Sir Nigel Gresley at Doncaster with London & North Eastern Railway. He held a number of appointments throughout the country with LNER and British Rail (Eastern Region) which culminated in him being appointed as Chief Engineer (Traction & Rolling Stock) for British Railways Board in 1968 being based in Derby. It was then that he provided the influence and enthusiasm behind the development of the High Speed Train or "InterCity 125" which revolutionised train travel within the UK in the seventies. This train was developed using existing technology in approximately 18 months and become the mainstay and benchmark for InterCity travel over the next 30 years. The HST is still in frontline service today and is loved by staff and passengers alike. It remains to this day the fastest diesel train in the world and was exported to Australia. Its performance remains comparable to more modern trains. Terry Miller MBE retired in 1973 before his creation entered service and died in 1989.

    3) East Midlands Trains operate high speed long distance services from London St. Pancras to Sheffield, Derby and Nottingham and regional services between Nottingham and Derby – Lincoln – Cleethorpes – Skegness, and between Derby and Crewe - Matlock and Norwich and Liverpool.

    4) The franchise will run until 31 March 2015, the last year and four months of which will be conditional upon achieving pre-set performance targets.

    5) Highlights of improvements include faster journey times from Sheffield and Leicester to London from 2008, better performance, more seats, train refurbishment, investment at Derby’s Etches Park train maintenance depot, a centralised information and security centre, more car parking spaces and two new stations – at East Midlands Parkway and Corby.

    6) Stagecoach Group is a leading international transportation group, with extensive bus and rail operations in the UK and North America. Stagecoach operates South West Trains the UK’s biggest commuter rail network with nearly 1,700 trains a day out of London Waterloo. In addition, Stagecoach has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group.

    7) Britain's measurement of reliability – ‘miles per five minutes delay’ (MP5MD) is one of the most strictly defined and rigorously monitored on Europe's railways.  It defines the average mileage each train in a fleet runs between a failure causing a delay of five minutes or more.

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  • Riverside walk open as part of special rail events

    30/04/2008

    Two days of walks and events are being held to celebrate the beauty and heritage along the scenic Derwent Valley Line. This includes the riverside walk between Cromford and Matlock Bath through the grounds of Willersley Castle. This path is normally only open to the public for the Boxing Day raft race.

    On Friday 16 and Saturday 17 May there will be guided inter-station walks, towpath walks along the beautiful Cromford Canal, tours of the historic mill communities of Belper and Cromford, nature walks and opportunities to explore the town trails in Matlock.

    On the Friday evening in Cromford, discover more about East Midlands Trains planned service improvements on the Derwent Valley Line. There will also be an opportunity to view an exhibition about the history of the line.

    The events have been organised by volunteers from Friends of the Derwent Valley Line (FDVL) to highlight the array of opportunities that the Derwent Valley Line offers for scenic walks and to publicise improvements to the rail service which start in December 2008.

    Ian Ambrose, FDVL Chairman said "There are so many interesting places in the Derwent Valley. We hope local people will use the train to come on guided walks and find out more about this area of Derbyshire. From December 2008 East Midlands Trains will run a train every hour from Matlock through to Nottingham, which is a major improvement. We want to encourage people to avoid congestion on the A6 and relax on the train. Children in particular love train rides."

    A leaflet detailing the events has been produced by the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership and is available from staffed stations, local outlets, from call Derbyshire on 08456 058 058 or at fdvl.org.uk

    Emma Knight from East Midlands Trains commented "We’re keen to work with the local community on promoting services throughout our route. The events that have been arranged as part of the Community Rail Weekend are a perfect example of joined up thinking in getting more and more people onto the network and discovering the potential that train travel can bring."

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  • Industrial Action affecting East Midlands Trains services called off

    30/04/2008

    Industrial action planned for Saturday 3 May, Saturday 10 May and Saturday 17 May has been called off by the RMT Union.

    Following talks with East Midlands Trains, the RMT Union has today confirmed that it will call off all industrial action being taken on these dates, therefore enabling East Midlands Trains to run all of its trains on all routes.

    Commenting, Tim Shoveller, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains said:

    “We’re very pleased that following our successful talks yesterday, the RMT Union has now agreed to call off this industrial action and we are able to run every single one of our trains this coming Saturday, and on the 10 and 17 May.”

    East Midlands Trains will continue discussions with the RMT Union over the coming weeks to secure reliable Sunday services for the future.

     

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  • All aboard the Jazz Train

    29/04/2008

    For music fans travelling to Newark Jazz Festival by train the fun begins on the platform. 

    The Karl Hird trio will perform exclusively for passengers travelling to Newark on Saturday May 17th on two East Midlands Trains services.
     
    Festival director, Peter Duncan said: “We are expecting 10,000 people to attend events over the Festival weekend with many coming from Lincoln and Nottingham. This brilliant jazz trio will get revellers in the mood en-route and we are encouraging visitors to travel by train. Many of the concerts take place in pubs and restaurants making leaving the car at home even more appealing.”

    The Karl Hird trio will be playing on two East Midlands Trains services on Saturday May 17th.  These are the 11.24 Nottingham to Newark and the 12.31 Lincoln to Newark. Train tickets for these trains can be obtained in the usual way -  on line from www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk, by phone from 08457 125678, at Nottingham/Lincoln ticket offices or at any local ticket office.

    Commenting, Emma Knight from East Midlands Trains said:

    “We are delighted to welcome the Karl Herd trio onto our trains, and we look forward to playing our part in the popular Newark Jazz Festival.  As a company, we’re always looking for new ways to be involved in the community, and the music trains to Newark are certainly a good way of encouraging community involvement, and bringing more people to the railway.”

    The Festival will feature 70 performances at 30 venues including pubs, cafes, restaurants, churches and shops. Entry to most events is free of charge, giving visitors the opportunity to try a wide range of jazz music.

    The weekend of May 16th -18th, is already attracting some of the biggest names in jazz including Guy Barker and David Newton, despite only being in its third year.

    Award-winning vocalist Claire Martin and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett will perform an intimate cabaret-style concert titled ‘When lights are low’ at Newark Palace Theatre on May 17th followed on May 18th by The Big Chris Barber Band, one of Europe’s most successful jazz and blues bands . Brimming with explosive energy, the current holders of the BBC Jazz Album of the Year, The Neil Cowley Trio, will be appearing. The young and talented Victoria Hart returns on the back of her success at last year’s festival, while Gospel singer, Shirley Alexander from the home of jazz, New Orleans, gets the weekend underway with Brian Carrick and his Algiers Stompers in a showcase concert that also features the premier of Nathan Bray’s entertaining Newark Suite funded by Awards for All, featuring the highly regarded East Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra. 

    There will also be a one-off concert, Celebrating Grappelli, featuring violinist, Tim Kliphuis with his trio and acclaimed pianist,  David Newton, marking the 100th anniversary of Stephane Grappelli’s birth.

    The weekend culminates on Sunday night with Andrew Hall’s amazing New Orleans All star lineup


    Festival tickets are available online from www.newarkjazz.co.uk. They are also being sold at Stray’s Book and Coffee shop, Ann et Vin, The Music Shop, The Palace Theatre and Newark Tourist Office.

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    For more press information contact Sarah Braund, Newark Jazz Festival Press Office, 01636 525643 or email sarah@daisydogmedia.com

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  • East Midlands Trains saves the great British breakfast

    25/04/2008

    Train operator East Midlands Trains has pledged its commitment to continue offering First Class passengers using its London service with the hugely popular full cooked British breakfast.

    Since it started running trains last November, the company has been preparing a brand new First Class menu and on board catering offer which will be launched next month.

    But the first news is that the company is definitely going to continue to offer the great British breakfast. There has been much speculation that East Midlands Trains will no longer be offering breakfast on its services when it launches its new menu.

    Jake Kelly, Customer Service Director for the company said “We had looked at a number of options for our breakfast offer. But feedback from passengers told us that although many want to see lighter breakfast options available, a significant number do still love our cooked British breakfast. So we have listened to those customers and decided to keep the full breakfast on our First Class menu.

    “The breakfast is cooked fresh, on board by a chef and to enable us to continue to do this we will also be retaining the buffet cars on our high speed train fleet. We are now going to give those buffet cars a bit of a ‘makeover’ in preparation for the new menu next month. Of course they will be fully refurbished along with the rest of our fleet later in our franchise.

    “I believe this shows that we are a train company who are not only committed to providing a fantastic service, we also listen to what customers want and then deliver it. We are launching a completely new First Class menu next month which will offer passengers on our London services a fantastic range of products throughout the day.”
     
    The new First Class catering offer will coincide with the May timetable change on 18 May and will be launched at an event early next month, further details will follow.

    East Midlands Trains great British breakfast is £15 and is available to First Class passengers on selected trains and subject to availability.

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  • East Midlands Trains moves to UK based call centre

    25/04/2008

    As from 31 March, East Midlands Trains telephone sales line for passengers has been provided by a UK based team. The dedicated team answering calls relating to the company’s products and services is based at Stagecoach Rail’s Customer Service Centre in Southampton.

    The following services are provided:

    • General telesales
    • Group travel enquiries
    • Season ticket sales
    • Corporate travel service

    Since Monday 31 March, anyone calling the company’s 08457 125 678 number has been answered by a trained advisor, based here in the UK.

    In addition the new service will no longer be a voice activated system, but instead will change to touch pad options for the customer to select the service that they require.

    Opening hours for general telesales are 06.00 to 22.00 seven days a week.

    Speaking about the introduction of a UK based call centre Kelly Jennings, Head of Customer Service for East Midlands Trains said: “Our call centre has been up and running for a few weeks now and the reaction from customers already has been very positive. We know that what customers want is prompt, accurate information, provided to them by a trained advisor who understands the UK rail network. This is what we are now delivering for them. I am sure that the provision of this facility will be of great benefit to East Midlands Trains passengers.”

    Paul Fulwood of Passenger Focus, the independent national rail consumer watchdog, said “One of the main priorities for passengers is getting information that is timely and accurate, so we welcome East Midlands Trains’ investment in this area.”

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  • Daisy the dog hitches a ride with East Midlands Trains

    21/04/2008

    A little lost dog that had wandered onto East Midlands Trains’ mainline route to London had a narrow escape last Monday 14 April.

    When East Midlands Trains 18.34 Derby to St. Pancras service arrived at Long Eaton station the driver noticed a small West Highland Terrier was near the line. The dog (later identified as Daisy from Long Eaton) then moved underneath the train. The driver, assisted by train manager James Harvey, managed to coax out and catch the dog. As they did not know where the dog had come from James decided to keep her safe and take her on board the train, bound for London, next stop Loughborough.

    At Loughborough, the dog was then passed into the safe care of the station team. They called the police who managed to locate the dog’s owners who eventually went to Loughborough to collect their wayward pet. It seems she had escaped unnoticed from their back garden near the train station in Long Eaton.

    James Harvey, train manager on the train involved said “As a train company we are always asking people not to trespass onto the line because it’s a dangerous place to be, this little dog had a very narrow escape. It’s a relief that we managed to catch her safely and I think she enjoyed her trip on a train with us.”

    Richard Pearson, who is one of the team at Loughborough that looked after Daisy until the arrival of her owners said “She was a very cute and friendly dog, I’m just glad we were able to track down the owners and that she didn’t get hurt. She ate a whole tin of dog food that we bought for her and my colleague’s dinner of pork chops while she was waiting for her owners, so she didn’t seem too distressed by his adventure!”

    Pictured below are the team at Loughborough, left to right; Tracey Ingram, Richard Pearson and Julian Patty along with Daisy the dog.

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  • East Midlands Trains sees increase in passengers travelling through to Europe

    15/04/2008

    Passengers buying through rail tickets with East Midlands Trains and Eurostar are helping to swell the number of people travelling to Europe via rail to an all time high.


    Eurostar has reported a 21.3% increase in passenger numbers as the opening of St Pancras International station and debut of a £5.8bn high-speed link through south England lured more passengers from the region to travel to the continent by rail.
    Eurostar said 2.17 million customers travelled between London, Paris and Brussels in the first three months of the year, an increase of more than 21.3% on the same period in 2007.  


    Simon Montague, Eurostar's director of communication, said the service was benefiting from shorter journey times thanks to the high-speed link. And more customers from around Britain are travelling due to the location of St. Pancras International, which is better connected to our region than the train operator's former base at Waterloo. "We have seen the number of travellers from the East Midlands and Yorkshire more than double in the first three months since we started running 186mph services on High Speed 1” he said.


    David Horne, Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains said “Sharing our London terminal with Eurostar certainly makes continental rail travel from South Yorkshire and the East Midlands very attractive. All that you need to do is change platform and with total journey times from some of our key cities at around four hours and through tickets from just £77 return, I am sure we will see growth and demand continuing to rise.”


    Through tickets to the continent with East Midlands Trains and Eurostar start from as little as £77 for a return trip from Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Kettering or Sheffield to Paris,  Brussels and Disneyland Resort Paris, via St. Pancras  International.

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  • East Midlands Trains appoints a dedicated Stakeholder Development Manager

    14/04/2008

    East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, has recently appointed John Hillman to the newly created position of Stakeholder Development Manager.

    John has worked in the rail industry since 1983 in a variety of retail and customer service management roles and more recently as head of drivers for Central Trains.

    John said “I am really excited to be appointed to this role. I believe that the future is full of opportunities for the rail industry. Our engagement with our stakeholders will have a significant impact on us growing passenger numbers and allowing us all to deliver a sustainable travel network for the benefit of all.”

    David Horne, Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains said “Appointing a dedicated stakeholder development manager was one of our franchise bid commitments and I am delighted to welcome John to my team. East Midlands Trains is an exciting new business. By working with the wider community and our stakeholders we will work to harness the huge potential for rail in our region and bring new passengers to rail, John will play a key role in achieving our business targets.”

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  • East Midlands Trains launches dedicated travel agents website

    14/04/2008

    Train operator East Midlands Trains has announced the launch of a dedicated website for its business travel trade agents - eastmidlandstrainssales.co.uk

    By registering at this site travel agents can find a one stop shop for details about East Midlands Trains products and services. Useful information provided includes: train seating plans, on board menus, on train facilities and links to real time train running and other useful information.

    Agents registering to join the site before 18th April can also enter an exclusive prize draw to win some fabulous prizes. East Midlands Trains has teamed up with partners Eurostar and Accor to offer two prizes of a weekend in Paris for two, with first class travel on East Midlands Trains to London and travel from London to Paris courtesy of Eurostar plus hotel accommodation provided by Accor.

    There are also ten runners up prizes of a pair of tickets valid for one return journey on any East Midlands Trains route. Destinations that are served by East Midlands Trains include London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Lincoln.

    David Horne, Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains said “Travel agents acting on our behalf to sell our products provide a vital link between us and the business community. We hope that provision of this website providing comprehensive information about East Midlands Trains products will help us and them to encourage more business travellers to take the train.”

    To register and enter the competition, travel agents acting on behalf of East Midlands Trains can visit eastmidlandstrainssales.co.uk

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  • Sunday service gets the green light for Robin Hood Line

    08/04/2008

    The Robin Hood Line train service, which runs from Nottingham to Worksop via Mansfield, will be running on Sundays for the first time from this December.
     
    Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council and East Midlands Trains, with special guest Alan Meale MP, Member of Parliament for Mansfield, will be announcing the new service this week on Friday 11 April 2008, 11.30am, at Mansfield Train Station.

    Nottinghamshire County Council will be funding the service until May 2011, but if the service is as well used as expected it is hoped that the Department for Transport (DfT) will fund it on a permanent basis after this time.

    The County Council has led a campaign to encourage the DfT to fund the Sunday service and has gained massive support with over 10,000 pledges of support from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire residents.

    In response to the campaign, Tom Harris MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, has approved the start of the service from the start of East Midlands Trains new timetable on 14 December 2008 and the DfT has committed to carrying out a review in January 2011 to decide whether it will fund the service from May 2011.
    It is hoped that the Sunday service will carry an average of 1,800 passengers by 2010, which should confirm the long-term DfT funding for the service.

    Councillor Stella Smedley, Cabinet Member for Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The recent campaign has demonstrated the enormous local demand for a Sunday service for the Robin Hood Line. Tom Harris MP has considered this carefully and we are grateful for his positive response.

    “This is great news for local people who will be able to take advantage of the new service for Sunday shopping and leisure activities and to allow them to get to work.”

    Cllr Brian Parbutt, Portfolio Holder for Transport, Economic Development and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said:  "Nottingham City Council stridently campaigns for better rail services. The Robin Hood Line improvements will tackle congestion on the A60 and A611 as well as helping an extra 90,000 people visit the city every year."

    Tim Shoveller, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, who will be operating the new Sunday service, said: “Our new December timetable will bring fantastic benefits for many passengers and communities along our route.  The Robin Hood service has become increasingly popular since its launch and we’re pleased to be working in partnership with both the County Council and the City Council to deliver this new Sunday service.”

    Alan Meale MP, Member of Parliament for Mansfield said: “This is a brilliant way to celebrate the creation of the Robin Hood Line Sunday service. All those 10,000 plus people who campaigned fiercely to make this happen should be very proud of themselves for they are now a part of both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s rail history.

    “Mansfield is the largest town in the UK not to have a Sunday rail service. A Sunday service will support the regeneration of Mansfield town and will bring similar benefits to other businesses along the route.”

    Rail Minister Tom Harris said: “It's great that Sunday services will run on the Robin Hood Line for the very first time and local bodies are funding local services. I thank local campaigners for their commitment to the line and congratulate them on presenting a very persuasive case. I wish them every success with the services.

    "We want to increase capacity, run faster and even more reliable services across the East Midlands.  We've pledged around £2m to increase the number of trains between Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield. We'd encourage passengers in the East Midlands to climb on board."

    The service will run from around 0930 to 1930 and there will be 10 trains each way between Nottingham and Mansfield Woodhouse.

     

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  • East Midlands Trains launches first re-branded Class 156 train

    04/04/2008


    East Midlands Trains launches first re-branded Class 156 train

    East Midlands Trains has today unveiled the first of its re-branded Class 156 trains.  The company, who will be re-branding all 11 of its Class 156 trains into the new East Midlands Trains livery, has teamed up with Derby-based company Bombardier Transportation for the re-painting of its entire Class 156 fleet.

    Commenting Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains said:
    “Our priority for the start of the franchise was to ensure a smooth transition and to get punctuality and reliability off to a good start.  Now we’re confident these things have been achieved, it’s time to start focusing on the refurbishment of our trains, both inside and out.

    “We’re starting with the re-painting of our 11 Class 156 trains, which will be completed by early May.  We’ll then move straight on to our Class 222 Meridian fleet, which will also be carried out by Bombardier Transportation at their Derby works”.

    Mark Williamson, Vice President, Mainline & Metros UK from Bombardier Transportation said:

    “I am pleased that Bombardier is working in partnership with East Midlands Trains and helping to ensure that they have a smart, comfortable and reliable fleet of trains. Later this year, we'll be moving on to re-brand the Meridian fleet, which we also built and which are very popular with the travelling public."

    In addition to the improvements listed above, the first of East Midlands Trains HST fleet is currently being re-painted at the company’s Neville Hill Depot in Leeds, and the contract is being finalised for the full refurbishment of the Class 158 fleet, which is due to start in the Summer.

    The selection of attached images includes a photo of Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, and Mark Williamson, Vice President, Mainline & Metros UK from Bombardier Transportation, with the first re-branded Class 156 (Unit 156 415).

       

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  • East Midlands Trains and M and C Saatchi in negotiations

    04/04/2008

    East Midlands Trains and M&C Saatchi in negotiations

    East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, has entered into exclusive negotiations to appoint a new marketing agency with M&C Saatchi Group. This follows a three-way pitch against DLKW (Delaney, Lund, Knox, Warren) and VCCP (Vallance, Carruthers, Coleman, Priest).

    The integrated M&C Saatchi Group team consisted of M&C Saatchi, LIDA and Walker Media who worked together to develop a full service solution for the pitch. 

    East Midlands Trains is an exciting new rail franchise with a number of key opportunities to grow passenger numbers and revenue through improved timetables and £90m of investment.

    Marc Turley, Head of Marketing for East Midlands Trains said “We look forward to working with M&C Saatchi Group. We have chosen them as our preferred supplier because they offered us innovative and creative ideas along with a solid strategic plan to achieve our challenging franchise targets.”

    Tim Duffy, CEO of M&C Saatchi, commented “We are absolutely delighted to be in negotiations with Marc and his team about working with East Midlands Trains.  It is an exciting time in the brand’s development and we are very excited about the opportunity to help take it on to the next stage".

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  • Secretary of State opens new control centre

    03/04/2008
    SECRETARY OF STATE OPENS NEW CONTROL CENTRE
    Network Rail’s East Midlands Control Centre (EMCC) in Derby, a key element in providing control of train services in the East Midlands was opened today. The £250m, six-year investment programme to provide renewed signalling across the region, was officially opened by Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP, Secretary of State for Transport.
    Since construction began in November 2006, £15m has been invested in turning a derelict, brownfield site into a modern facility, which will eventually control the signalling and operations for the entire East Midlands rail network. This will result in an improved service to rail users.
    The EMCC building is the first of its kind in the UK. It has been built to a modular design, enabling Network Rail to provide modern facilities at an efficient cost and is the first of a number of similar control centres planned around the country. It is Network Rail’s greenest ever building, incorporating solar water heating to reduce carbon emissions and rainwater harvesting to save a million litres of water every year.
    Network Rail is investing £250m over six years to renew the signalling in the East Midlands. The first two phases of the signalling – at Leicester/Nuneaton and Alfreton – are already complete and will be followed by further schemes at Chesterfield, Toton, Long Eaton, and Nottingham. As each phase is completed, operational control will transfer into the EMCC, which will ultimately control over 350 route miles of railway across the region and employ 240 staff. The first Network Rail employees transferred to the centre on 1 March and will be joined in May by colleagues from East Midlands Trains where both teams will work together to control the railway operations.
    Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “This impressive new control centre will provide a better service for many thousands of passengers in the East Midlands.
    "Bringing together Network Rail and East Midlands Trains staff in the same building will lead to close communication and mean any disruptions to passengers can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
    "This is another example which illustrates our commitment to deliver a better railway for Britain."
    ”We are exceptionally proud of our new East Midlands Control Centre,” said Ian McAllister, chairman of Network Rail. “It is a crucial part of our investment in signalling in the East Midlands and a measure of our commitment to providing passengers with a world class railway. Working locally together with East Midlands Trains, it will bring benefits to passengers by reducing the impact of delays, and will bring benefits to the region as a whole by providing a better rail network.”
    Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, whose controllers will be joining Network Rail colleagues in the control centre said: "The opening of this new joint control centre provides a fantastic opportunity for both East Midlands Trains and Network Rail to improve communication with its customers. Controllers from both companies will be sitting side by side, sharing information and being able to work quickly together to manage the day to day operation of the railway.
    "An additional benefit will be that both management teams will also be based in the same location for the first time ever, providing the opportunity for an increased management focus."
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  • 'Atomic' watches and whistles help East Midlands Trains in drive to run a right time railway!

    17/03/2008

    manTrain company East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, is launching a new initiative to improve punctuality and reliability. As part of this drive staff are being issued with radio controlled 'atomic' watches and new whistles to use to dispatch trains.

    East Midlands Trains Managing Director, Tim Shoveller said: "We know passengers want safe, reliable and clean trains. To achieve this we have an extensive programme of investment taking place during our franchise."

    This will see the company invest £90m, making improvements in areas that impact directly on performance, reliability and customer service such as:

    • Upgrade to Derby train maintenance depot.
    • Refurbishment of fleet, including technical modification work to improve engine performance, interior décor, seats and CCTV technology.
    • Investment in stations; additional customer help points, refurbished waiting areas, improved lighting and facilities.
    • Introduction of a new joint control centre in Derby with Network Rail to better improve communications (currently operations for each company are in separate locations).
    • New timetable in December 2008 offering faster journey times and increased capacity.
    • The opening of a brand new station - East Midlands Parkway.
    • Improved journey times on the route to London.

    Tim added "Although our punctuality is already good - in terms of the national measures that are in place - we want to achieve more. This programme of major investment is a key part of this and will no doubt improve our punctuality. But I believe there is also a place for a back to basics approach internally, ensuring all staff are acutely aware of the need for trains to depart on time, every time. And by on time, I mean exactly on time, not even a few seconds late.

    "To do this staff need to sound their whistles in good time, encouraging passengers to hurry aboard and then lock the train doors so that at the booked time of departure the wheels on the train are already moving. It is quite surprising that just one minute's delay at a station can have a significant effect, causing the accumulation of 'knock on' delay further along the train's journey.

    "We will be re-briefing all staff and issuing new whistles and wrist watches that are accurate to the second to everyone. I am confident that we will see improvements to our punctuality as a direct result of this renewed focus. It sounds simplistic and maybe it is - but the best ideas usually are. I am confident we'll see results."

    East Midlands Trains will be issuing all 2,100 staff with an 'atomic watch' which is accurate to the second. In addition all staff responsible for train dispatch will receive a brand new Acme Thunderer whistle.

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  • Beeston passengers love Dave’s cheerful announcements

    17/03/2008

    Beeston based station announcer Dave Smith prides himself on making cheerful announcements for the passengers using the station near Nottingham. And now his announcements have become so well known and loved that a local radio station has heard about him and featured him on their Monday morning breakfast show.

    BBC Radio Nottingham got in touch with East Midlands Trains, who manage the station at Beeston, to ask if they could visit and record Dave during the busy Monday morning commute. On the morning of the visit Dave was hard at work busily serving commuters and making station announcements, wishing passengers a good journey, a great morning and a fantastic week!

    Dave says “The people here at Beeston are great. Lots of the passengers are regulars now and I find that people respond very well to the happy announcements I make. It might be a wet miserable Monday morning at the start of another working week but I hope I can put a smile on their face as they pass through the station. We all spend a lot of time at work and sometimes I see more of the faces of these passengers than I do my own family. I have a job to do here, but if I can make people smile while I’m doing it, then that makes me happy too.”

    Nigel Carlisle, Route Manager for East Midlands Trains says “We’ve got a great team at Beeston and Dave’s announcing style is certainly gathering fame locally. As a company we know that people want accurate and reliable information about their journey and we train our announcers to do that consistently. But it’s great that Dave manages to pass that information on to passengers with so much personality and character. I’m delighted that the local radio station has heard about him.”

    Dave appeared live on the BBC Radio Nottingham on Monday 10 March from 07.00 – 09.00 but you can catch his announcements most days at Beeston!

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  • Change to our trains

    17/03/2008

    As part of our commitment to improving seat availability across as many of our trains as possible, serving London, we are set to embark on a programme of alterations to our Meridian trains.

    In preparation of our December 2008 timetable where we plan to run additional services we will be moving carriages between trains. Our smaller Meridian trains will get an extra carriage and some larger Meridian trains will lose one.

    By carrying out this work we will be improving our capacity on our smaller, busy trains in the peak hours where it is needed. Overall, we will reduce overcrowding at peak times.

    By 28 April 2008, the amendments will have been made. These trains will then serve at these times until 11 December 2008.

    Details of train alterations are noted in the timetable below.

    Southbound services arriving into London St Pancras International before 1000

    Arrival Time Capacity alteration Train type
    0641 No capacity change 5 Car Meridian
    0706 No capacity change HST
    0736 No capacity change HST
    0759 No capacity change HST
    0806 Increased capacity 5+5 Car Meridian
    0824 Capacity reduction 7 Car Meridian
    0838 Capacity reduction 7 Car Meridian
    0842 No capacity change HST
    0855 No capacity change HST
    0906 Increased capacity 5+5 Car Meridian
    0929 No capacity change HST
    0933 No capacity change HST
    0945 No capacity change 5 Car Meridian

    Northbound services departing from London St Pancras International in the
    afternoon/evening departures between 1530 and 1900

    Arrival Time Capacity alteration Train type
    1530 No capacity change 5 Car Meridian
    1555 Capacity reduction 7 Car Meridian
    1600 Increased capacity 5 Car Meridian
    1608 No capacity change HST
    1625 No capacity change HST
    1630 No capacity change 5 Car Meridian
    1655 No capacity change HST
    1700 Capacity reduction 7 Car Meridian
    1715 Increased capacity 5+5 Car Meridian
    1730 No capacity change HST
    1745 No capacity change HST
    1755 No capacity change HST
    1800 Increased capacity 5+5 Car Meridian
    1815 No capacity change HST
    1825 No capacity change HST
    1830 Increased capacity 5+5 Car Meridian
    1855 Capacity reduction 7 Car Meridian
    1900 No capacity change 5 Car Meridian
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  • London to Sheffield afloat a canoe for charity

    04/03/2008

    Krazy Kayakers travel from London to Sheffield afloat a canoe for charity

    In July 2008 two employees of East Midlands Trains; Dave Stannard and Adam Plant will set sail on a 300 mile trip from London to Sheffield to raise money for the premature baby charity BLISS. The pair will start their epic journey at Chiswick Road Bridge in London, the finish of the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race, travelling via the Thames, Grand Union Canal, River Trent, Nene, the Wash  and then onto Sheffield.

    Dave’s usual role for the company is as an operations trainer whilst Adam works as a train manager. So although neither of them have any experience with a paddle, they are rising to the challenge to raise money for the BLISS premature baby charity. Dave is very aware of the fantastic support they provide, as his own son Corey was born prematurely at just 28 weeks in November 2003, weighing just 2lb 2ozs.

    Dave said “I have previously completed various challenges for charity including cycling from London to Sheffield last year. But this challenge is the most extreme yet. Paddling some 30 miles a day over sea and canal and even crossing the Wash is something that many have told me is a bit mad. That may be so, but I wanted to do something different and to raise as much money as possible for BLISS. Me and my wife Cath can never thank them and Jessops Hospital in Sheffield enough for the care they gave to Corey and the advice and support for me and Cath. This challenge is nothing compared to what Corey overcame with their help.

    “I have been training hard for the event. Training has included trips to sea at Flamborough, time on the river Don and even one memorable session out at sea on the Med during a holiday to Ibiza last summer. You’ve no idea how hard it was to locate a canoe in San Antonio and how scared I was to find myself alone on a Spanish sea in very choppy conditions! I am now a three star canoeist which is basically intermediate and I’m confident that by July we’ll both be ready to meet the challenge.”

    Dave and Adam have already been pledged over £1,000 in sponsorship by colleagues and friends and East Midlands Trains are making a donation and paying for a radio training course (for use whilst at sea). Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains said “We’re all very proud of the supreme effort that Dave and Adam are making for this very worthy cause. I can’t even imagine walking this far, let alone making the journey by canoe.

    “We all have our fingers crossed for them. We’re even planning to give their canoe its very own ‘headcode’ which is the means by which the rail industry tracks live train services. This way all our staff will be able to check Dave and Adam’s progress on our intranet day by day.”

    If you would like to find out more about the Krazy Kayakers, read their blog or even make a donation by visiting www.krazykayaks.blogspot.com

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  • East Midlands Trains is three months old and already more punctual than before!

    08/02/2008

    East Midlands Trains is three months old and already more punctual than before!

    On Monday 11 February it is exactly three months since the start of the East Midlands Trains franchise and the company has been taking time to reflect on the successes achieved and the challenges faced since 11 November 2007.

    Tim Shoveller, Managing Director for the company said: “In the first 12 weeks we have operated over 30,000 train services, carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers. Our aim for the first few months was really to operate ‘business as usual’, focusing on offering a safe and punctual service.

     “We’ve faced some challenges over these first three months. The most testing of which was the derailment at Barrow on Soar on 1 February. The derailment was caused by a bridge which had fallen onto the track, having been struck by a road vehicle. I believe that our staff provided the best service possible service in very difficult circumstances and I want to assure passengers we will be reviewing the incident. We want to ensure we learn lessons, focusing particularly on the way we worked with our partners Network Rail to recover the service and the flow of information to passengers.

    “Perhaps the best indication that we have a great team in place to move the company forward successfully is that year on year statistics show that for the first 12 week reporting period, East Midlands Trains punctuality has been significantly better than the combined figure for the same period under the previous operators London services and Central Trains. Average punctuality was 87.15%, 86.09% and 88.13% for the first three periods, compared with 81.31%, 84.95% and 86.15% for the same periods last year. This is a great achievement, but not one that we are satisfied with. We have made a commitment to improve punctuality even further. I want us to be the operator that runs a ‘right time railway’.”

    East Midlands Trains has exciting investment plans too and this year will see:
    · The opening of East Midlands Parkway station near J24 of the M1
    · The introduction of a new timetable in December 2008, providing more capacity and improved journey times
    · The continued success of megatrain, offering over 3,000 tickets to London from key cities on our route from just £1 (plus 50p booking fee) every week
    · The start of work to refurbish our Class 158 fleet, providing significantly upgraded trains for our Local services fleet
    · The launch of our new catering offer on train


    Tim added: “I know that for some passengers travelling on our Local services route the standard of accommodation on train has not been good enough. We realised very quickly that the fleet of trains we inherited needed more immediate attention than we had planned in terms of appearance, comfort and reliability. We made immediate improvements to external cleanliness by investing in a new wash plant for trains. Longer term the relivery and refurbishment of our Local services fleet starts later this year. This, along with new staff uniforms across the network this summer, will see us start to build a sense of pride and identity for services in our region. We are asking for passengers’ continued patience and understanding whilst we make improvements.

    “One of the most interesting opportunities for East Midlands Trains will be the focus on our relationship with stakeholders and community partners along our route. We believe external funding is available for improvements, subject to us creating positive relationships and providing a good case for investment from business partners.

    “During the life of our franchise Stagecoach Group is investing £90m in stations and services. I am sure we have the right team in place to now deliver this and more, exceeding what our passengers are hoping for and bringing new passengers to rail.”

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  • Passenger Focus release rail survey results

    24/01/2008

    Passenger Focus release rail survey results

    Passenger Focus has today published the results of their Autumn 2007 National Passenger Survey.

    The findings relate to surveys carried out in Autumn last year, prior to the start of the new East Midlands Trains franchise. East Midlands Trains was formed from the London services franchise and part of the Central Trains network on 11 November 2007. Therefore the results are not directly attributed to East Midlands Trains. However the company will be studying the information in the reports to assist them in ongoing improvements planned for services.

    In summary, the results show:

    Nationally, overall satisfaction stands at 81% of passengers either quite or very satisfied with services. For  London services and Central Trains overall satisfaction stood at 86% and 81% respectively.

    The survey highlights that passengers are keen to see improvements in the areas of punctuality, value for money, train cleanliness, train upkeep and repair. And these are all areas that East Midlands Trains is focusing on during its new franchise.

    East Midlands Trains has a £90 million programme of investment planned for its stations and fleet. This investment will see extensive refurbishment of the company’s fleet, along with improvements at existing stations and the building of two brand new stations at Corby and East Midlands Parkway. In addition to this the company is committed to offering value for money fares. By introducing the revolutionary megatrain concept East Midlands Trains is offering thousands of fares to London from just £1 (plus 50p booking fee) every week.

    East Midlands Trains Managing Director, Tim Shoveller said: “Whilst this survey does not relate directly to our franchise, the results are of course very interesting to us.
    We have faced some challenges in the first 10 weeks of our franchise and we are concentrating on making progress in many areas. This survey is an ongoing initiative, with regular results, the next of which are expected in June this year. We hope to see an improvement on scores as we move forward.”

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  • Visit London with East Midlands Trains for £1!

    04/01/2008

    From this week passengers can visit London with East Midlands Trains for £1!

    This week sees the first passengers travelling from the East Midlands and South Yorkshire to London using bargain priced megatrain tickets.
     
    megatrain.com is an innovative budget rail service offering seats priced from just £1 (plus 50p booking fee).

    Around 3,500 megatrain.com seats, from just £1 will be offered on the East Midlands Trains network each week.

    megatrain.com tickets are available for travel to London, from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester. megatrain.com is an easy to use, ticket-less product that can be purchased from the megatrain.com website or through the telephone booking centre.

    East Midlands Trains Managing Director, Tim Shoveller, celebrated the first passengers using these tickets by meeting up with Mr megatrain during his visit to one of the company’s stations yesterday (picture attached). Tim said:

    “megatrain tickets went on sale mid December and by Christmas Eve almost one thousand passengers had already bagged themselves an early Christmas present of a ticket to London at a bargain price. But we are committed to offering value for money fares all year round, so from now onwards we’ll continue to provide at least 3,500 seats at these crazy prices every single week.”

    We see this as an attractive addition to our ticket range, offering passengers more choice and availability when it comes to looking for a ticket to London. By booking early and being flexible about travel plans, thousands of bargain fares are there for the taking”

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  • Take off for New East Midlands Parkway

    19/12/2007

    TAKE OFF FOR EAST MIDLANDS PARKWAY


    Passengers across the East Midlands will soon have more choice in how they travel after Network Rail kicked off the construction of the new East Midlands Parkway station this week. The £25m project, primarily funded by Network Rail with a contribution of almost £1m from East Midlands Development Agency (emda), will see a brand new station constructed near junction 24 of the M1 at Ratcliffe-on-Soar.

    Dyan Crowther, Network Rail Route Director said: "The investment into East Midlands Parkway signifies our commitment to improving the rail network. Parkway will be a world class station which will provide real choices for passengers and tempt motorists from the nearby M1 to try a greener form of travel. As well as connections to London and all of the major regional centres the station will provide easy access to the nearby East Midlands Airport."

    East Midlands Parkway will open in December 2008 and will be situated just off the A453 at Ratcliffe-on-Soar, 1 mile from the M1. It will include four platforms, step free access, a station building with ticket office and other facilities, staffed and managed by East Midlands Trains as well as 850 car parking spaces.

    East Midlands Trains Managing Director, Tim Shoveller added: "We’re really pleased that building of the station is now underway. When it opens next year, East Midlands Parkway will be an example of a high quality, accessible station and we’re eager to play our part in delivering a first class station and service for our passengers. Our timetable will provide the station with fast, easy links to London, and other destinations on the East Midlands Trains network. We’re hoping that more people will be persuaded to leave the car behind and take the train."

    Anthony Payne, emda’s Land and Development Director, commented: "The Regional Economic Strategy emphasises good transport connectivity as the basis of a successful economy and flourishing region. That’s why emda has invested in East Midlands Parkway and we’re pleased to hear that construction of the station is now underway and is on track for completion by the end of next year."

     

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  • Extra Car Park Spaces at Market Harborough

    14/12/2007

    East Midlands Trains provides 100 extra car park spaces at Market Harborough


    Work starts soon at Market Harborough railway station to provide 100 extra car parking spaces for passengers.

    Contractors Fitzpatrick will be working on behalf of East Midlands Trains to extend the existing customer car park. It’s expected that the new spaces will be available for use before Christmas.

    David Horne, Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains said:
    “We know that car parking at Market Harborough has been a concern for passengers lately and we are committed to improving station facilities. During our franchise we’ll be providing at least 750 more car parking spaces along our route and we’re delighted to be able to provide 100 extra spaces at Market Harborough.

    ” As an extension to the existing car park, we’ll provide a well lit, fenced car park with the reassurance of a Park Mark Safer Parking Award.”

    For all passenger enquiries about East Midlands Trains call 08457 125 678 or visit eastmidlandstrains.co.uk

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  • £1 Fares on Sale Now

    11/12/2007

    Fares with East Midlands Trains at just £1! On sale now!

    East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, launches the revolutionary megatrain.com concept on a selected number of key routes this week.

    megatrain.com, the innovative budget rail service started by Stagecoach Group and already in successful operation at sister company, South West Trains, offers seats along the London services route priced from just £1 (plus booking fee).

    megatrain.com tickets are available for travel to London, from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester. Tickets are on sale now and will be available for travel on East Midlands Trains services from Wednesday 2 January 2008.  megatrain.com is an easy to use, ticket-less product that can be purchased from the megatrain.com website or through the telephone booking centre.

    Commenting, David Horne, East Midlands Trains Commercial Director said:

    “We’re very excited to be launching the successful megatrain.com concept on our services.  megatrain.com has become well renowned for providing high quality excellent value rail travel, and we are extremely pleased that passengers in the East Midlands will be able to take advantage of these low cost fares.”

    Around 3,500 megatrain.com seats will be offered on the East Midlands Trains network every week.  Tickets start at £1 (plus 50p booking fee).   For more information on East Midlands Trains services, visit the website at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk

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  • Brand New Low Cost Fares

    28/11/2007

    East Midlands Trains announces brand new low cost fares starting at just £1!

     

    East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, has today announced plans to launch the revolutionary megatrain.com concept on a selected number of key routes in the New Year. 

    Megatrain.com, the innovative budget rail service started by Stagecoach Group and already in successful operation at sister company, South West Trains, will offer seats along the London services route priced from just £1 (plus booking fee).

    Megatrain.com tickets will be available for travel to London, from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester. Tickets will go on sale during December, and will be available for travel on East Midlands Trains services from Wednesday 2 January 2008.  Megatrain.com is an easy to use, ticket-less product that can be purchased from the megatrain.com website or through the telephone booking centre.

    Commenting, David Horne, East Midlands Trains Commercial Director said:

    “We’re very excited to be launching the successful megatrain.com concept on our services.  Megatrain.com has become well renowned for providing high quality excellent value rail travel, and we are extremely pleased that passengers in the East Midlands will be able to take advantage of these low cost fares.”

    Around 3,500 megatrain.com seats will be offered on the East Midlands Trains network every week.  Tickets start at £1 (plus 50p booking fee).   For more information on East Midlands Trains services, visit the website at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk

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  • Derby Station Investment

    20/11/2007

    £18M Investment to Rebuild Derby Station

    Passengers using Derby station will witness a transformation unfold over the next 18 months as Network Rail embarks on a major project to dismantle, then completely rebuild the platform canopies.  The project will include new lifts between the platforms and footbridge to improve accessibility for less mobile passengers.

    Preliminary work will take place over the Christmas period and the work starts in earnest in February when the first phase of the project gets underway.

    Network Rail Route Director Dyan Crowther said:  “This major investment will transform Derby into a bright modern station fit for the thousands of passengers who use it every day.  This is a big job and to minimise disruption we will be completing the project in phases to keep the station open for passengers and train services throughout.” 

    Work to dismantle and rebuild the station will take place in 4 phases between February 2008 and June 2009.  While the station will remain open certain platforms will have to be closed at different points throughout the project and there will be some changes to timetabled train services, particularly at weekends. 

    Network Rail is working closely with East Midlands Trains to ensure passengers are kept informed of any changes to train services and station car parking arrangements.

    East Midlands Trains Managing Director Tim Shoveller commented: “As the new train operator for the East Midlands, we’re delighted to be working with Network Rail on the improvements to Derby station.   We’re proud to manage the station at Derby, a city with a great railway history, and we hope that this upgrade will provide a station fitting with this.

    “We will work with Network Rail to ensure that disruption to our passengers is kept to a minimum throughout the work, and will ensure that regular, updated information is available, both at the station and on our website, eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.”

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  • East Midlands Trains celebrates launch

    11/11/2007

    East Midlands Trains—the new train company for the East Midlands and South Yorkshire—is celebrating the launch of its franchise.

    The company, run by Stagecoach Group, started its seven-year-and-four-month franchise on 11 November at 2am.

    It is made up of all of the existing main line train services running to London St Pancras International, regional rail services in the East Midlands area and inter-regional services between Norwich and Liverpool.

    Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “We are really looking forward to getting stuck into what we do best—running a railway of which both our passengers and employees can be proud.

    “Between June, when the Department for Transport announced we had been awarded the franchise, and today, we have been working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready to ensure that day one goes as smoothly as possible.

    “I would like to thank everyone who has got us this far and look forward to working with them in the future to make this franchise a success.”

    Tim and his team hosted a launch event on 12 November at Nottingham and Derby stations, where stakeholder guests saw the first train in its new livery and travelled on it to the newly refurbished London St Pancras International station.

    Highlights of improvements include faster journey times from Sheffield and Leicester to London from 2008, better performance, more seats, train refurbishment, investment at Derby’s Etches Park train maintenance depot, a centralized information and security centre, more car parking spaces, two new stations at East Midlands Parkway and Corby, and new links to Europe in partnership with Eurostar.

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