East Midlands Trains - A

East Midlands Trains - A
East Midlands Trains (EMT) was a British train operating company owned by the transport group Stagecoach, which operated the East Midlands franchise between November 2007 and August 2019.
Following the Department for Transport (DfT) award of the newly created East Midlands franchise to Stagecoach, EMT commenced operations on 11 November 2007, taking over services previously performed by both Midland Mainline and the eastern parts of the Central Trains franchises.
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. Its operations were initially divided between two sub-brands: Mainline for inter-city services, and Connect for urban and suburban services.
Numerous changes were implemented during EMT's tenure, including the introduction of additional trains between Sheffield and London along with infrastructure improvements to enable faster services to be operated. The franchise developed a reputation for its attention to customer service and public safety, winning multiple awards for these aspects. Passenger numbers also grew, necessitating the lengthening of several services to accommodate this.
EMT's franchise period was extended on multiple occasions, before rival transport company Abellio was announced as the next franchisee in April 2019 after Stagecoach was disqualified from the bidding process for failing to meet employee pension obligations in its bid. Accordingly, EMT's services were transferred to East Midlands Railway on 18 August 2019.
East Midlands Trains History
East Midlands Trains Background
In June 2006, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced its intention to restructure several rail franchises, which included an East Midlands franchise that combined the Midland Mainline franchise with the East Midlands services of the Central Trains franchise. In September 2006 the DfT announced that Arriva, FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the franchise.
In June 2007, the DfT awarded the East Midlands franchise to Stagecoach. Services operated by Central Trains and Midland Mainline transferred to East Midlands Trains on 11 November 2007.
East Midlands Trains Changes
During 2008, EMT introduced extensive timetable revisions; amongst other changes, journey times on the principal Sheffield-London route were reduced considerably, a feat that had largely been enabled by the high performance of its British Rail Class 222 Meridian fleet.
One year later, in partnership with the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, EMT expanded its services on the route to encompass two trains every hour. A substantial growth in passenger numbers and associated revenue were recorded; in 2014, EMT observed that it only expected demand to continue increasing for the foreseeable future.
Further decreases in journey times were achieved by EMT during the 2010s. One particularly impactful change was the completion of infrastructure improvements on 9 December 2013 that enabled 125 mph (200 km/h) along major stretches of the Midland Main Line for the first time.
To achieve this, EMT had invested £70 million into the improvement of almost 160 miles of track over the course of several years; the scheme was the route's biggest transformation in decades. The operator had worked closely with the national railway infrastructure company Network Rail on this and other initiatives to improve the route, such as a major re-signalling scheme performed in and around Nottingham station at a cost of £100 million largely performed during the summer of 2013.
EMT also implemented numerous schemes to enhance safety; consequently, the franchise was awarded the NRA Safety Award three years in a row. Such measures have included the installation of platform-end fencing and the presence of trespass guards at more trafficked stations, attention was also paid to reducing the risks associated with level crossings and great reduce their misuse via its work with the British Transport Police.
EMT also cooperated with agencies including Network Rail, ASLEF, and the Samaritans in the prevention of suicides, which has led to extensive staff training, fund raising events, and campaign signage at several of its stations.
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 EMT employees 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. As a result of staff engagement surveys, EMT launched its ‘Executive on Tour’ programme during the 2010s to bring about a higher level of contact between the franchise's upper management and its frontline staff, which included regular in-person visits and open discussions about the business between staff to increase engagement and improve understanding.
In November 2014, EMT was recognised as the Passenger Operator of the Year at RAIL's National Rail Awards for the high quality of customer service that it provided in comparison to other franchises offer. According to the organisation, service levels had substantially increased in the region since the implementation of the franchising system in 1996, and that the company had performed better than most peers in response to service disruptors such as Cyclone Dirk and other natural phenomenon.
Amid EMT's franchise period, there was ambitious plans to electrify the majority of the Midland Main Line by 2020 at an expected cost of £800 million. In January 2013, Network Rail expected the electrification scheme to cost £500 million and be undertaken in stages during Control Period 5 (April 2014 – March 2019.
With Bedford to Corby section electrified by 2017, Kettering to Derby and Nottingham by 2019 and Derby to Sheffield by 2020. the organisation also recommended procuring the Class 801 in 10 car formations for the InterCity services, However, these plans were put on hold by the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, in June 2015.
East Midlands Trains Demise
While originally scheduled to end in March 2015, East Midlands Trains succeeded in having its franchise extended on several occasions. Nevertheless, the company continued to have to periodically submit competitive bids and emerge as the superior offering amongst its rivals to continue operating its services.
In March 2017, the DfT announced that Stagecoach, Arriva UK Trains and a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia had been shortlisted to bid for the next East Midlands franchise. Abellio was added to the shortlist 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. In April 2019, the DfT awarded the East Midlands franchise to Abellio; Stagecoach had been disqualified from the process because its submission failed to meet employee pension obligations. Accordingly, East Midlands Trains' services were transferred to East Midlands Railway on 18 August 2019.
East Midlands Trains Services
East Midlands Trains Overview
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.
East Midlands Trains London Services
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 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.
On 9 December 2013, the Midland Main Line officially started running at 125 mph (200 km/h) in some areas, leading to reductions in several journey times.
East Midlands Trains Local Services
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 Routes
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, 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.
As of January 2018, the typical off-peak weekday East Midlands Trains services, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph), included:[a]
East Midlands Trains London
  • London St Pancras to Sheffield 1 tph
Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield
  • London St Pancras to Sheffield 1 tph
Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Chesterfield
  • London St Pancras to Nottingham   1 tph
Market Harborough, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway
  • London St Pancras to Nottingham   1 tph
Luton Airport Parkway, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Beeston
  • London St Pancras to Corby   1 tph
Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering
  • London St Pancras to Leeds via Nottingham   1 tph
Market Harborough, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway, Nottingham, Langley Mill, Alfreton, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Wakefield Westgate
East Midlands Trains Local
  • Liverpool Lime Street to Norwich (regional express)   1 tph
Liverpool South Parkway, Widnes, Warrington Central, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Nottingham, Grantham, Peterborough, Ely, Thetford
  • Crewe to Derby   1 tph
Alsager, Kidsgrove, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, Longton, Blythe Bridge, Uttoxeter, Tutbury and Hatton, Peartree (limited)
  • Matlock to Newark Castle   1 tph
Matlock Bath, Cromford, Whatstandwell, Ambergate, Belper, Duffield, Derby, Spondon (limited), Long Eaton, Attenborough, Beeston, Nottingham, Carlton, Burton Joyce (1tp2h), Lowdham, Thurgarton (1tp2h), Bleasby (1tp2h), Fiskerton, Rolleston (1tp2h)
Stations served two-hourly are all served by the same train.
  • Leicester to Lincoln   1 tph
Syston, Sileby, Barrow-upon-Soar, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Beeston, Nottingham, Newark Castle, Collingham, Swinderby (1tp2h), Hykeham
  • Worksop to Nottingham   1 tph
Whitwell, Creswell, Langwith-Whaley Thorns, Shirebrook, Mansfield Woodhouse, Mansfield, Sutton Parkway, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Newstead (Worksop-bound only), Hucknall, Bulwell (Nottingham-bound only)
  • Mansfield Woodhouse to Nottingham   1 tph
Mansfield, Sutton Parkway, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Newstead (Nottingham-bound only), Hucknall, Bulwell (Mansfield-bound only)
  • Nottingham to Skegness   1 tph
Netherfield (limited), Radcliffe (limited), Bingham, Aslockton (irregular), Elton and Orston (limited), Bottesford (1tp2h), Grantham, Ancaster (limited), Rauceby (limited), Sleaford, Heckington, Swineshead (limited), Hubberts Bridge (limited), Boston, Thorpe Culvert (limited), Wainfleet, Havenhouse (limited)
  • Newark North Gate to Grimsby Town   0.5 tph
Collingham (limited), Swinderby (limited), Hykeham (limited), Lincoln, Market Rasen, Barnetby, Habrough
Some of these services are separated into two at Lincoln.
  • Lincoln to Peterborough   1 tph
Metheringham, Ruskington, Sleaford, Spalding
  • Doncaster to Lincoln – tph
Gainsborough Lea Road, Saxilby
Limited service; only 4–5 trains each way per day.
East Midlands Trains Overview
East Midlands Trains Franchise(s): East Midlands
11 November 2007 – 17 August 2019
East Midlands Trains Main Region(s): East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, East of England
East Midlands Trains 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
East Midlands Trains Stations Called At: 87
East Midlands Trains Stations Operated: 89
East Midlands Trains Parent Company: Stagecoach
East Midlands Trains Reporting Mark: EM
East Midlands Trains Predecessor: Central Trains
Midland Mainline
East Midlands Trains Successor: East Midlands Railway
East Midlands Trains Technical Length: 1,567.5 km (974.0 mi)
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