East Midlands Trains
11 November 2007 – 17 August 2019
|Main region(s)||East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, East of England|
|Other region(s)||Greater London, North West England|
|Fleet size||24 Class 43 HST power cars|
21 Class 153 Super Sprinter sets
15 Class 156 Super Sprinter sets
25 Class 158 Express Sprinter sets
27 Class 222 Meridian sets
|Stations called at||87|
|Parent company||Stagecoach Group|
|Successor||East Midlands Railway|
East Midlands Trains InterCity services
|This diagram shows offpeak services|
Based in Derby, the company provided train services in the East Midlands and parts of Yorkshire, chiefly in Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire. The franchise commenced in November 2007 with the amalgamation of the Midland Mainline and eastern parts of the Central Trains franchises and ran until August 2019.
Bidding for the franchise
In June 2006 the Department for Transport (DfT) announced its intention to restructure some rail franchises. Included was an East Midlands franchise combining the Midland Mainline franchise with the East Midlands services of the Central Trains franchise.
In June 2007 the Department for Transport awarded the East Midlands franchise to Stagecoach and services operated by Central Trains and Midland Mainline transferred to East Midlands Trains on 11 November 2007. Originally due to end in March 2015, the franchise was extended several times and finished in August 2019. In April 2019, the DfT announced that Abellio had won its bid for the East Midlands franchise, after Stagecoach was disqualified from the process due to not meeting pension obligations. The service was renamed "East Midlands Railway" and the contract is due to last until August 2027.
Amidst a background of ongoing rail strikes on a national level, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) warned in September 2017 that East Midlands Trains staff could be balloted for potential industrial action following a breakdown in negotiations over an ongoing pay rise dispute. The dispute was eventually settled without industrial action, and the threat of strikes on East Midlands Trains services was dropped.
East Midlands Trains initially divided its services between two sub-brands: Mainline inter-city services, and Connect urban and suburban services, which mainly came from the Central Trains franchise. However, from April 2008, the company dropped the "Mainline" and "Connect" branding in favour of "London" and "Local" services. It also has four broad routes for the areas in which it operates, except for the high-speed services, which all serve London.
EMT promised better integration between "London" and "Local" services, together with increased punctuality and becoming more user-friendly.
On 25 November 2008, Peter Bone (MP for Wellingborough) asked if the Secretary of State for Transport supports the "In the Can" campaign, whereby sardines are sent to the Chief Executive to show dissatisfaction at perceived overcrowding. Helen Southworth (then MP for Warrington South) also raised the overcrowding issue on the same day.
The service pattern at the start of the franchise was of 4 off-peak departures from London: 2 fast (1 each to Sheffield and Nottingham) and 2 stopping (1 each to Derby and Nottingham). Sheffield peak-hour trains extended from and to Leeds, with weekend services also extending to York/Scarborough. 1 peak-hour Derby service was extended to Burton-on-Trent and one to Barnsley. EMT made no significant changes until the introduction of its December 2008 timetable.
In December 2008, EMT made significant changes to the service pattern, which was similar to the current one (see below). There are five off-peak departures from London: 2 fast (1 to Sheffield and 1 to Nottingham), 1 semi-fast (initially to Derby; extended to Sheffield from December 2009) and 2 stopping (1 to Nottingham and 1 to Corby). A smaller number of Sheffield peak-hour trains continue to extend from and to Leeds, with weekend services also extending to York/Scarborough. In addition a Nottingham service is extended to start from Lincoln Central on weekdays and Saturdays. There were plans initially for 2 return services to Skegness through from London in the summer; however, these currently run through from Derby instead of London, because of speed restrictions around Boston. The Burton-on-Trent and Barnsley services ceased at the beginning of the December 2008 timetable, when Corby services began. One Corby service was extended to Melton Mowbray at the outset, and a second was added to Derby from May 2010.
In December 2013, the Midland Main Line officially started running at 125 mph (200 km/h) in some areas, cutting journey times.
The Liverpool Lime Street via Warrington Central, Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly, Sheffield, Nottingham, Peterborough and Ely to Norwich service was previously provided by Central Trains. Nottinghamshire County Council has consistently campaigned for better services between the four core cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham. Network Rail's plans for the Northern Hub would deliver extra train paths along the Hope Valley Line, enabling more trains to run from the North West to the East Midlands. In December 2012, double-unit trains were provided for services between Manchester and Nottingham to ease overcrowding.
East Midlands Trains' services were categorized into two types:
- London: inter-city services out of London St Pancras station, along the Midland Main Line, to various towns and cities in the East Midlands region including Bedford, Kettering, Corby, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield. Some peak-time services also served Lincoln Central, Doncaster, Leeds and York, while a single Saturday service also ran to and from Scarborough in the summer. These services all used Class 222 trains or HST sets, which were painted in a white livery.
- Local: short- and medium-distance services mostly within the East Midlands region, plus the long-distance route between Liverpool Lime Street and Norwich. These services were operated by Sprinters (Class 153s, Class 156s and Class 158s). The Class 158 units were painted in a white livery, while the remaining units were all in a blue livery.
- The Sheffield Continental: 06:49 Sheffield to St Pancras, no return working. Introduced in December 2008.
- The Master Cutler: 07:29 Sheffield-St Pancras and 16:58 return. A named service inherited from Midland Mainline.
- The South Yorkshireman: 07:46 Sheffield-St Pancras and 17:58 return. Introduced in December 2008.
- The Robin Hood: 07:10 Nottingham-St Pancras and 16:15 return. A named service inherited from Midland Mainline.
Tickets were sold in advance, super off-peak, off-peak and anytime formats, the cheapest of these being advance fares. In addition, East Midlands Trains accepted the wider Stagecoach Group's smart card scheme, branded "Stagecoach Smart".
The company introduced a penalty fare scheme in late 2009, covering all mainline stations served by EMT from London to Sheffield via Corby, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Alfreton.
The Penalty Fare Scheme was extended in 2016 to include the Robin Hood Line from Nottingham to Worksop
Stagecoach Group, EMT's parent company, introduced Megatrain fares on its London routes on 2 January 2008 operating to/from London St Pancras International to Leicester, Loughborough, Derby, Nottingham, Chesterfield and Sheffield.
Megatrain fares were also introduced on Route 2 between Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Peterborough or Norwich.
East Midlands Parkway was used as an interchange station for combined multi-modal journeys under the brand name "MegabusPlus", whereby passengers were carried by road coach from the cities in the north of England to East Midlands Parkway, where passengers transferred to rail for the service to London.
Routes operated under the "MegabusPlus" brand were between London and:
The bus from Hull and Scunthorpe also had a stop at Doncaster at the launch of MegabusPlus, but due to lack of demand in Doncaster, the service stopped calling there.
Stagecoach had planned to spend more than £91 million on service improvements.
As part of the 125 mph (200 km/h) upgrade on the Midland Main Line (completed in 2013), faster trains ran from Nottingham and Sheffield to London St Pancras. The number of departures from London were also increased from four to five an hour off-peak incorporating Corby services and extending the hours of operation with earlier arrival and later departures, to allow better connections with Eurostar at St Pancras.
The provision of Wi-Fi Internet at key stations including Leicester, Derby, and Sheffield. Installation of ticket barriers at more stations including London St Pancras Domestic, Derby Midland and Nottingham.
Introduction of smart card technology, similar to that used on South West Trains, at all London route stations and all those in the Leicester/Derby/Nottingham commuter triangle, and the installation of more self-service ticket machines across the network.
East Midlands Trains also managed stations at which they did not operate services. These stations were all only served by CrossCountry. They were Hinckley, Narborough, South Wigston, Willington and Burton-on-Trent.
Originally it was proposed to remove the buffet cars from High Speed Train sets as they were very heavy and used only to cook breakfast on some trains; they were to be replaced by an at-seat trolley service. The company reviewed its decision and launched an enhanced catering service for the start of the May 2008 timetable. Since September 2010 Rail Gourmet had provided all standard class catering. WiFi had been available on all services from London since 5 September 2010.
Stagecoach have targeted 90.3% (PPM) on London services and 87% (PPM) on Local services. Previously the Central Trains franchise had had difficulties with timekeeping due to the high number of potential clashes with late running other services en route and use of insufficient stock, causing long dwell times at stations due to slow unloading and loading. Figures released rated Central Trains' performance at 87.8% for the PPM (Public Performance Measure) over the first quarter of the financial year 2007/8. Latest figures released by NR (Network Rail) rated performance over the last year (up to 12 October 2013) at 91.5% (MAA) and 92.0% (PPM) for the seventh period of the financial year 2013/14.
Other than the lines to Liverpool and Manchester, no East Midlands Trains routes were electrified north of Bedford and all trains were diesel-powered.
East Midlands Trains inherited Midland Mainline’s InterCity 125 (HST) and Class 222 Meridian diesel-electric high-speed trains, along with some of the Sprinter diesel units (classes 153/156/158) formerly operated by Central Trains.
East Midlands Trains announced in March 2008 that it was to reform its Class 222 sets to prevent overcrowding. This saw the remaining 4-car Class 222 units receive an extra vehicle to become 5-car sets. This was accomplished by reducing one of the 8-car sets to a 5-car, with the remaining 8-car sets reduced to 7-cars. Extra capacity on long-distance routes was provided by running pairs of 5-car sets coupled together.
East Midlands Trains began the service from Corby on 23 February 2009. Initially, this was made up of one train per day in each direction, using the existing Meridian fleet. The full Corby service started on 27 April 2009.
The Sprinter fleet that EMT inherited at the start of the franchise was in a very poor state. Problems ranged from basic and simple to major complicated faults. The fleet was put together from various sources – around four different previous companies, with some coming directly from passenger work but some that had been lying idle surplus to requirements off lease in sidings. East Midlands Trains claimed that it would take the lifetime of the franchise to get the trains to a standard that it was happy with. In addition to the various sources of the trains, passenger figures given to the Department for Transport prior to the franchise were incorrect, leading to a shortfall in the number of seats provided (a 26% decrease in capacity on route 2) compared with what was required.
Four additional Class 156 DMUs, leased from Angel Trains were cascaded from Northern to enable more route 2 services to run as four-coach trains by using these cascaded Class 156s on Skegness services instead of Class 158s. From December 2012 when the Sprinter refurbishment programme was complete, all route 2 services between Liverpool and Nottingham were able to operate as four-coach trains. In addition, from December 2011 the 13:52 from Liverpool operated through to Norwich.
In early 2018, East Midlands Trains obtained an additional three 6-car InterCity 125 sets from Grand Central, which were used to improve capacity on the Midland Main Line by replacing Class 222 units on some services. The first of these powercars entered service in February 2018, with powercar 43467 being named "Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service"/"British Transport Police Nottingham" in commemoration of the services' work during the fire at Nottingham station earlier in the year.
Fleet at end of franchise
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Cars||Routes operated||Built|
|43||Loco||125||201||30||6 or 8||1976–82|
|153 Super Sprinter||DMU||75||120||21||1||Regional routes||1987–88|
|156 Super Sprinter||15||2||1987–89|
|158/0 Express Sprinter||90||145||26||1989–92|
|222 Meridian||DMU||125||201||4||4||Inter-City routes||2003–05|
Barrow upon Soar
On 1 February 2008, an East Midlands train was involved in an incident at Barrow upon Soar. The train hit a footbridge in its path, after a road vehicle had struck and damaged the bridge causing it to be foul of the line. Six passengers were on board the service and the driver had to be cut free from the driving cab.
Market Harborough incident
On 20 February 2010 an express from London St Pancras to Sheffield was derailed north of Market Harborough, causing track damage and major disruption to rail services for three days. East Midlands Trains put an emergency timetable into place, running services via Melton Mowbray on 21, 22 and 23 February. A complete safety check found no problems in the rest of the fleet.
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Train crew depots were located at:
- London – London route drivers, Train Managers, Customer Hosts and revenue protection officers
- Leicester – Revenue Protection Officers
- Derby – London and Local route Drivers, Train Managers, Senior Conductors, Crew Leaders, Chefs, Customer Hosts and Revenue Protection Officers
- Nottingham – Local route Drivers (although 12 Drivers trained on HST's for Summer Skegness and Charter trains), Train Managers, Senior Conductors, Customer Hosts and Revenue Protection Officers
- Sheffield – Train Managers, Crew Leaders, Chefs, Customer Hosts and Revenue Protection Officers
- Boston – Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors
- Lincoln Central – Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors
- Norwich – Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors
Trains were maintained at:
- London, Cricklewood (fueling and cleaning of HST & 222)
- Derby Etches Park (heavy maintenance of 222, 153, 156 & 158, light maintenance of HST)
- Nottingham Eastcroft (light maintenance of 153, 156 & 158)
- Boston (cleaning of 153, 156 & 158)
- Arriva TrainCare, Crewe (light maintenance of 153, 156 & 158)
- Leeds, Neville Hill (heavy maintenance of HST)
- Crown Point (light maintenance of 158)
Shunter drivers were employed by EMT at Derby, Nottingham and Leeds.
On-train catering for standard-class passengers on routes 1 and 2 was, as of September 2010, contracted out to Rail Gourmet, which had depots at Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Although all stations are owned by Network Rail, their day-to-day management is handled by train operating companies. EMT managed the following stations: Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Market Harborough, Leicester, Melton Mowbray, Oakham, Stamford, Narborough, Hinckley, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Kidsgrove, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Beeston, Nottingham, Alfreton, Sleaford, Boston and Skegness. They also had staff at St Pancras International, although the station itself is managed by Network Rail
The franchise ended on 17 August 2019. In March 2017, the DfT announced Stagecoach, Arriva UK Trains and a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia had been shortlisted to bid for the next franchise. Abellio was added in February 2018. FirstGroup and Trenitalia pulled out of the bidding process in April 2018 to focus on the West Coast Partnership franchise. An Invitation to Tender was issued in June 2018, detailing the improvements that bidders for the franchise must make.The contract was awarded in April 2019. The franchise was awarded to Abellio East Midlands, which is branded as East Midlands Railway. The new franchise runs from 18 August 2019 until 22 August 2027.
- Rail franchising in Great Britain
- List of companies operating trains in the United Kingdom
- Rail transport in Great Britain
- London services are shown in the outbound direction, while local services are shown from west to east.
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Media related to East Midlands Trains at Wikimedia Commons
Central Trains franchise
| Operator of East Midlands franchise
East Midlands Railway
Midland Main Line franchise