East Midlands Railway

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East Midlands Railway
East Midlands Railway logo.jpg
Franchise(s)East Midlands
18 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2027
Main region(s)East Midlands
Greater London
South Yorkshire
North West England
Other region(s)East of England
National Rail abbreviationEM
Parent companyAbellio
Route map
Route map

East Midlands Railway (EMR) is a future train operating company in England owned by Abellio that will commence operating the East Midlands franchise from August 2019.


In March 2017, the Department for Transport announced Arriva, a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, and incumbent Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the next East Midlands franchise.[1] Abellio was added in February 2018.[2]

FirstGroup and Trenitalia pulled out of the bidding process in April 2018 to focus on the West Coast Partnership franchise.[3] In April 2019 the franchise was awarded to Abellio, with East Midlands Railway (EMR) to take over the franchise from East Midlands Trains (EMT) on 18 August 2019 for a period of eight years.[4]

In June 2019, Abellio revealed branding and colour scheme using distinct purple and white colours to reflect the heritage of the East Midlands. It also confirmed it would divide the services into three segments:[5]

  • EMR Intercity for long distance services from London
  • EMR Regional for local services
  • EMR Electrics for the London to Corby service


East Midlands Railway will operate services from intercity services from London St Pancras along the Midland Main Line to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield with limited extensions to Lincoln, Leeds, York and Scarborough. EMR will also operate the local East Midlands services and inter regional services to Liverpool and Norwich. Services from Nottingham to Liverpool via Sheffield and Manchester will transfer to another operator during the life of the franchise.[6] The Barton line will transfer from Northern.[7]

Over the course of the franchise, several planned timetable changes are to be made: [6]

  • earlier and later trains between Sheffield and Nottingham to East Midlands Parkway
  • earlier and later trains between Sheffield and London St Pancras and more regular evening service to London
  • 2 trains per hour between Nottingham and Kettering
  • 2 trains per hour between Corby and London St Pancras
  • Regular Sunday service between Corby and London
  • Liverpool to Nottingham transferred to another operator
  • Nottingham to Norwich extended to Derby
  • regular hourly Sunday service between Norwich and Derby
  • Crewe to Derby service extended to Nottingham and hourly service on Sundays
  • Hourly Sunday service between Matlock and Nottingham
  • Hourly service between Nottingham and Grimsby Town with limited extension to Cleethorpes
  • Hourly Sunday service between Lincoln Central and Grimsby Town
  • Hourly service between Nottingham and Newark Castle
  • Hourly Sunday service between Worksop and Nottingham and later evening services on Weekdays
  • additional peak services between Nottingham and Grantham
  • earlier and later trains between Nottingham and Boston
  • later evening service on weekdays and a new Sunday service
  • Hourly through service between Doncaster and Peterborough via Lincoln Central
  • New Sunday service between Doncaster and Lincoln Central
  • Enhanced Sunday service on Barton to Cleethorpes route
  • 2 trains per day between Lincoln Central and London St Pancras
  • Newark Northgate to Grimsby Town service cut back to Lincoln Central except to for the limited extension to Cleethorpes and timed to run with LNER's London-Lincoln service

Rolling stock[edit]

East Midlands Railway will inherit a fleet of Class 43, Class 153, Class 156, Class 158, Class 222 from East Midlands Trains. However it is planned that the HST's will be replaced by modern diesel trains from May 2020 but these will be replaced by new 125mph bi-mode stock from April 2022, replacing the 222's as well. It is planned that 12-car electric trains will run between London and Corby from December 2020 replacing the Class 222.[6]

Current fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Top Speed Number Cars Routes Operated Built
mph km/h
EMR Intercity
43 High Speed Train IC125@40 - 43045 and 43465 at Kings Cross.JPG Loco 125 200 30 6 or 8 1976–82
Mark 3 Mk3 TGS 42133.jpg Coach 136 1975–88
222 Meridian East Midlands Parkway railway station MMB 30 222012.jpg DEMU 4 4 2003–05
17 5
6 7
EMR Regional
153 Super Sprinter DMU 75 120 21 1
  • Regional Routes
156 Super Sprinter East Midlands Trains 156408 terminates at Derby.JPG 15 2 1987–89
158 Express Sprinter East Midlands Trains 158777, Deansgate (25726740174).jpg 90 145 26 1989–92

Future fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Top Speed Number Cars Routes Operated Enter service
mph km/h
EMR Electrics
360 Desiro 360 103 Stratford(8090824383).jpg EMU 100 161 ? ?
  • London – Corby
December 2020

There has also been talk for 5 Class 170s to be transferred from ScotRail, however, this is yet to be pubically confirmed. Due to the Lincoln Re-modelling project, the gauge at Lincoln Station has changed meaning Class 170s are not allowed to enter Lincoln Station.