Rail franchises operators & contracts

16.08.07

New Train Company unveiled

A new train company for the East Midlands and South Yorkshire area has unveiled its name, logo and the look of its train livery – and plans for millions of pounds of improvements to trains and stations.

East Midlands Trains, run by Stagecoach Group, starts its seven-year-and-four-month franchise on Sunday November 11 at 2am.

A brand-new franchise map has been drawn up to encompass all of the existing main line train services running to London St Pancras and the regional rail services in the East Midlands area.

Highlights of the company’s plans include millions of pounds of investment in station and train improvements including refurbishments, more CCTV cameras, more car park spaces and improved journey times.

There will also be closer partnership with Network Rail to improve train performance, and the creation of a new integrated control centre where colleagues from each organisation will sit alongside each other to run the train service.

Ian Dobbs, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Rail Division, said: “We are really excited about creating this brand new train company for the East Midlands and the wider region.

“It will bring better harmony between the regional and mainline train services, and link into the revamped St Pancras station, which will also be home to Eurostar from November.

“We have lots of plans to improve the travelling experience for passengers, and will bring the expertise we have in running our other train company South West Trains to this new rail business.”

The franchise will run until 31 March 2015, the last year and 4 months of which will be conditional upon achieving pre-set performance targets.

Highlights of improvements and investment include:

• Faster journeys to Sheffield (2h 08 mins) and Leicester (1hr 07 mins) from London as part of a new timetable in December 2008 with potential further infrastructure-based improvements
• Additional early morning train from Derby to London St Pancras to cater for high levels of morning peak demand
• Performance plans to improve the public performance measure (PPM) to 90.4%
• Significant increase in capacity, with more than 850 extra mainline peak seats into and out of London and an increase of nearly 10,000 off-peak seats per weekday
• A £26.5m fleet interior and performance improvement programme, including décor, seats, on-train CCTV and technical modifications
• Significant investment at Derby train maintenance depot (Etches Park), to provide better facilities for train maintenance operations
• A centralised Information and Security Centre to respond to Help Point requests and monitor CCTV cameras
• Additional CCTV cameras at 12 stations and mobile security staff coverage for stations and trains and more than 60 new or upgraded Help Points at 35 stations
• Investment in Smartcard technology to make ticket purchasing much easier
• Installation of around 70 new self-service ticket vending machines to reduce ticket office queues and provide ticket retailing at locations such as Syston and Sutton Parkway for the first time
• £5m station investment programme
• New East Midlands Parkway station 5 minutes by car from junction 24 of the M1
• New passenger charter with clear targets and compensation structure based on the ‘Delay Repay’ model supported by Passenger Focus
• An additional 750 car parking spaces
• A competitive option has been offered to the Department for Transport for the provision of rail services to a potential new rail station at Corby

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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