On August 19, Abellio has started operating the East Midlands Railway for the next eight years, bringing a GBP 600 million (EUR 653 million) package of investment in improvements to rail services across the East Midlands and between Bedford, Corby, Wellingborough, Kettering, Luton Airport and London St Pancras.
East Midlands Railway will replace the entiire intercity train fleet including 33 intercity trains (165 new intercity bi-mode carriages), will invest GBP 20 million (EUR 21.8 million) at all stations with specific improvements made at St Pancras, will provide more services with faster journey times on intercity routes between London St Pancras, will double the capacity into London St Pancras, and will improve rail services and facilities for passengers on St Pancras Station – London Luton Airport route, under a contract signed with HS1.
Other improvements include more cycle and car parking will be provided and smart ticketing will be rolled out by 2020.
“Today is a new era for rail services on East Midlands Railway. We have begun to deliver on our promises with improved passenger compensation and a Price Promise for all passengers. We are investing in new and better trains, improved stations and more services, including between London and key destinations like London Luton Airport and Corby,” Julian Edwards, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway, said.
East Midlands Railway will oversee the delivery of improvements to improve customers’ experience, improve rail connections and drive economic growth including more regular services between London St Pancras station and Luton Airport, with a new ‘Luton Airport Express’ style-service operated by a new all-electric fleet of trains that will also serve Luton, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and Bedford.
In July, the Dutch operator selected Hitachi Rail for the supply of 33 five-car trains under a GBP 400 million (EUR 435.5 million) contract. The new trains will enter operation starting 2022 and will undergo maintenance services at Etches Park depot in Derby.
On August 20, Bombardier announced that has signed a new Train Services Agreement (TSA) with Abellio and Eversholt Rail for the new East Midlands Railway franchise. Under the EUR 145 million agreement, Bombardier will maintain Bombardier class 222 diesel-electric multiple unit trains at Derby Etches Park depot for use on East Midlands Railway mainline services.