Extended East Midlands Trains franchise marks start of £13m investment
19 October 2015 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
East Midlands Trains has marked the start of an extended franchise to operate rail services between London, the East Midlands and northern England alongside a £13 million investment of improvements.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin joined East Midlands Trains at Derby station to launch the start of the extended franchise agreed on 16 September 2015.
Following the agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT), East Midlands Trains will continue running services from London St Pancras International to Northamptonshire, the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, as well as local routes throughout Lincolnshire, the East Midlands and Staffordshire and trains between Liverpool and Norwich until at least March 2018 with the DfT having the option of extending the contract up to a further year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I want to see passengers put at the heart of our railway system. The franchise that starts today will mean better journeys and a better deal for passengers on East Midlands Trains. Strengthening our transport infrastructure, locally and nationally, is a key part of the government’s long term economic plan, and the £38 billion spent on the UK’s rail network between 2014 and 2019 will help boost jobs and growth.”
Commencement of the new franchise coincided with a programme of upgrades to improve journeys, provide discounted fares and amend the compensation system for delays. The £13 million investment will also deliver better on-board services and new technologies for faster and better customer information and cleaner stations and trains.
“The franchise that starts today will mean better journeys and a better deal for passengers on East Midlands Trains”
In addition, local communities will benefit with more than £250,000 invested in community rail, expansion of the popular station adoption scheme, new initiatives with schools and continued opportunities for graduates and young people. Extra front-line staff will be recruited to help customers, and employees will benefit from a wide range of improvements.
Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, added: “This is a very exciting day for our customers, our employees and local communities and marks the start of our major improvement plans.
“We are extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to continue operating train services until at least March 2018, and we’re certain our customers will welcome the plans we have in place to improve our services.”