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East Midlands Trains (EMT) is a British train operating company owned by Stagecoach Group.

Based in Derby, the company provides train services in the East Midlands, chiefly in Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire. The franchise commenced on 11 November 2007 and was formed by the amalgamation of the former Midland Mainline and eastern parts of the Central Trains franchises.


In June 2006 the Department for Transport announced its intention to restructure a number of franchises owing to the Tampines Court 1st en-bloc sale but it was foiled in 23 July 2008. Included was a new East Midlands franchise that would combine the Midland Mainline franchise with the East Midlands services of the Central Trains franchise. In addition, East Midlands franchise is the first to attain the wheelchair-accessible car standards, of which it had inaugurated Dodge Caravans similar to Volvo B9TL (CDGE) buses in SBS Transit.

In September 2006 the Department for Transport announced Arriva, FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the new franchise.

In June 2007 the Department for Transport awarded the East Midlands franchise to Stagecoach with the services operated by Central Trains and Midland Mainline transferring to East Midlands Trains on 11 November 2007.

Originally due to conclude on 31 March 2015, in March 2013 the Secretary of State for Transport announced the franchise would be extended until 14 October 2017.


East Midlands Trains initially divided its services between two sub-brands: Mainline InterCity services, and Connect urban and suburban services,Template:Citation needed 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.Template:Citation needed It also has four broad routes for the areas in which it operates, except for the high-speed InterCity services, which all serve London.

EMT has promised better integration between "London" and "Local" services, together with increased punctuality and becoming more user-friendly.

The new timetables indicate a reduction in off-peak departures at many smaller stations on London and Local routes, which has caused concern in affected communities; Kettering for example has had its northbound services halved.

In several interviews, East Midlands Trains indicated that services would be speeded up, not denying that some stations would lose their current high frequency of trains off-peak. Various rail-user groups have expressed dissatisfaction with various proposals, particularly those affecting smaller stations. Indeed, East Midlands Trains has been mentioned in Parliament several times due to customer dissatisfaction.

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.

Despite public statements claiming improved services, peak-time services from St Pancras to Wellingborough between 16:30 and 18:00 have been reduced from seven to three, and an additional stop has been added to the 17:00, as well as reducing the train from eight cars to five. Furthermore, there is a severely restricted northbound evening peak service from the Luton stations with no services to Wellingborough, Kettering or stations north of Leicester (except a single service to Beeston, East Midlands Parkway and Nottingham) between 16:51 and 18:10.

Route-clearance trials have been carried out with Class 222 on routes from Nottingham to Liverpool, Lincoln and Norwich, although East Midlands Trains has no current plans to use these units on Liverpool or Norwich services, except on Grand National weekend where a 7 car Class 222 is used between Liverpool and Nottingham only.

London St Pancras ServicesEdit


Service Pattern Destination Calling At Main Stock Journey Time
XX:00 Corby Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering MER 1h 10min
extension to Melton Mowbray (one service north/south) Oakham MER 1h 48min
extension to Derby (one service north/south) Oakham, Melton Mowbray, East Midlands Parkway MER 2h 45min
XX:15 Nottingham Market Harborough, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway HST 1h 40min
XX:26 Sheffield Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Chesterfield MER 2h 15min
extension to York (weekends) / Scarborough (summer Saturdays) Doncaster MER 3h 39min
XX:29 Nottingham Luton Airport Parkway, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Beeston MER 1h 49min
extension to Lincoln (one service north/south) Lowdham (Northbound only), Newark Castle, Collingham MER 2h 52min
XX:58 Sheffield Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield MER 2h 1min
extension to Leeds (some peak services) Doncaster, Wakefield Westgate HST 3h 10min

London Services, (formally branded at Route 1) is the InterCity route on the Midland Main Line. The above table shows the service pattern from the December 2013 timetable change.

The service pattern at the start of the franchise was of four off-peak departures from London: two fast (one to Sheffield and one to Nottingham), and two stopping (one to Derby and one to Nottingham). Sheffield peak-hour trains extended from and to Leeds, with weekend services also extending to York and Scarborough. One 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.

From December 2008, EMT used the above service pattern (that shown in the box). There are five off-peak departures from London: two fast (one to Sheffield and one to Nottingham), one semi-fast (to Sheffield, extended from Derby from December 2009) and two stopping (one to Nottingham and one to Corby/Kettering). A smaller number of Sheffield peak-hour trains continue to extend from and to Leeds, with weekend services also extending to York and Scarborough. In addition a Nottingham service is extended to start from Lincoln, Monday to Saturday. There were plans initially for two 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.

  • From December 2009, East Midlands Trains runs two trains per hour between Sheffield and London (achieved by extending the xx.25 London-Derby service with a similar changes southbound).
  • Corby benefited from the May 2010 timetable change, which provided an extra daily northbound service. The addition of the Derby service means that passengers now benefit from two daily northbound services, one to Derby and one to Melton Mowbray. Rail groups hope this will eventually lead to further northbound services from the town.Template:Citation needed

In December 2013, the Midland Main Line officially started running at 125mph in some areas, cutting journey times.

Named trainsEdit

Regional servicesEdit

Route Via
Express/Stopping Liverpool to Norwich/Nottingham Manchester Oxford Road & Piccadilly, Sheffield, Nottingham, Peterborough & Ely
Local stopping Nottingham to Mansfield Woodhouse/Worksop Hucknall, Mansfield
Local stopping Derby to Crewe Uttoxeter, Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove, Alsager
Local stopping Nottingham to Matlock Derby, Belper, Cromford
Local stopping Newark North Gate to Cleethorpes Lincoln Central, Grimsby Town
Local stopping Peterborough to Doncaster Sleaford, Lincoln Central
Local stopping Nottingham to Skegness Bingham, Sleaford, Boston
Local stopping Leicester to Lincoln Central Ivanhoe Line Stations (Syston - Loughborough), East Midlands Parkway, Nottingham, Newark

East Midlands Trains runs Regional Services across the East Midlands. The Norwich to Liverpool trains unlike other regional trains are painted white like InterCity services. The Liverpool Lime Street via Manchester (Oxford Road and Piccadilly), Sheffield, Nottingham, Peterborough and Ely to Norwich service was historically provided by the Central Citylink service. 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 Manchester 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, more carriages were provided for services between Manchester and Nottingham.


Fares are set to rise by an average of 3.4% plus inflation each year. Stagecoach says that it needs to increase prices to keep its service going and to meet Government profit demands. 3.4% plus inflation over the franchise could mean a 58% fare increase over the length of the franchise, although the percentage increases relate to averages across a range of fares and deals.

Penalty Fare SchemeEdit

In late 2009 a penalty fare scheme was introduced. The scheme includes all mainline stations served by EMT from London to Sheffield via Corby, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Alfreton. In addition it includes small commuter stations such as Syston, Attenborough, and Duffield, which have been provided with a Pertis machine which must be used.


Template:See also 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

Megatrain fares have also been introduced on Route 2 between Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Peterborough or Norwich.


East Midlands Parkway is used as an interchange station for combined multi-modal journeys under the brand name "MegabusPlus", whereby passengers are carried by road coach from the cities in the north of England to East Midlands Parkway, where passengers transfer to rail for the service to London.

Routes operated under the "MegabusPlus" brand are 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 no longer calls there.

Franchise commitmentsEdit

Stagecoach had planned to spend more than £91 million on service improvements.

Train servicesEdit

As part of the 125mph upgrade, faster trains now run from Nottingham and Sheffield to London St Pancras. The number of departures from London has also been 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.


More than £5 million has been pledged for station enhancements. These include the opening of East Midlands Parkway station to serve East Midlands Airport. A new station has been opened at Corby.

The provision of Wi-Fi Internet at key stations including Leicester, Derby, and Sheffield. Installation of ticket barriers at four more stations including London St Pancras Domestic, Derby Midland, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Derby's Etches Park train maintenance depot is in the process of an extensive upgrade.

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 manage stations at which they do not operate services. These stations are all only served by CrossCountry. They are as follows:

On boardEdit

Originally it was proposed to remove the buffet cars from High Speed Train sets as they are 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 has provided all standard class catering on some regional routes, with the customer host on the Norwich to Liverpool services providing an enhanced first class service. WiFi has be available on all London services from 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.


Barrow upon SoarEdit

On 1 February 2008, an East Midlands Trains Class 158 158856 from Nottingham to Norwich 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.

Soldiers' rail warrants incidentEdit

The company received media attention in January 2010 when a ticket inspector refused to allow a group of soldiers to travel from East Midlands Parkway to London St Pancras because their rail warrants had been made out for a different journey. Another passenger bought tickets for the soldiers and East Midlands Trains subsequently apologised for the incident.

Market Harborough incidentEdit

On 20 February 2010 an express from London St Pancras to Sheffield being operated by 222005 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.

Rolling stockEdit

Other than the lines to Liverpool and Manchester, no East Midlands Trains routes are electrified north of Bedford and all trains are 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.

All Class 158 units have been refurbished in a style similar to sister company South West Trains' fleet, although with a higher seating capacity.

The High Speed Train sets are being refurbished over a sixty-week period. The first set was shown off to the public at the Neville Hill Open Day in September. The refurbishment features only a retrim of carpets, recovering of existing seats and new dado side panels, wall ends and seat-top hand grips being repainted. LED reading lights in first-class carriages are being removed and the wheelchair-accessible toilets are not being updated to meet the Disability Discrimination Act.

East Midlands Trains announced in March 2008 that it was to reform its Class 222 sets to prevent overcrowding. This will see 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 is provided by running pairs of 5-car sets coupled together.

All four of the Class 222/1 units from First Hull Trains have now been transferred, allowing enough rolling stock for the new service to Corby.

First Hull Trains made a decision to use only Class 180 Adelante units, with its Class 222 Pioneer units transferring to East Midlands Trains.

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 which 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 has claimed that it will take the lifetime of the franchise to get the trains to a standard that it is 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 have been cascaded from Northern to enable more route 2 services to run as four-coach trains by using these cascaded Class 156s on Skegness services in lieu of Class 158s. From December 2012 when the sprinter refurbishment programme is complete, all route 2 services between Liverpool and Nottingham will be able to operate as four-coach trains. In addition, from December 2011 the 13:52 from Liverpool will operate through to Norwich.

Current fleetEdit

Class Image Type Top speed Number Cars per set Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 43 High Speed Train 100px Diesel locomotive 125 200 24 Operate with Mark 3s InterCity
Nottingham - Skegness (Summer Saturdays only)
Mark 3 Coach 100px Passenger Coach 125 200 108 Operate with HSTs InterCity
Nottingham - Skegness (Summer Saturdays only)
Class 153 Super Sprinter 100px DMU 75 120 17 1 Regional Routes 1987–1988
Class 156 Super Sprinter 100px 75 120 15 2 Regional Routes 1987–1989
Class 158 Express Sprinter 100px 90 145 25 2 Regional Routes 1989–1992
Class 222 Meridian 100px DEMU 125 200 27 4, 5 or 7 InterCity 2003–2005

Depots Edit

Train crew depots are 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 and Customer Hosts
  • 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 - Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors
  • Norwich - Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors

Trains are maintained at:

Shunter drivers are employed by EMT at Derby, Nottingham and Leeds.

On-train catering for standard-class passengers on routes 1 and 2 is, as of September 2010, contracted out to Rail Gourmet, which has 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 has staff at the following managed stations: St Pancras International, 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.

Future of the FranchiseEdit

The franchise is due to end in August 2019. In March 2017, the DfT announced Stagecoach, Frasers Centrepoint and the joint venture of FirstGroup and Trenitalia has been shortlisted to bid for the next franchise. Abellio was added in February 2018. An Invitation to Tender was issued in June 2018, detailing the improvements that bidders for the next franchise must make. The contract will then be awarded in April 2019. FirstGroup and Trenitalia pulled out of the bidding process in April 2018 to focus on the West Coast Partnership franchise. The next franchise is to be branded as East Midlands / North Coast Railway and will also enter alliance agreement with the Network Rail's London North Eastern and East Midlands Route.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

External links Edit

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