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East Midlands Trains franchise extended to 2018 under £150m deal

Stagecoach Group has secured the East Midlands Trains franchise until March 2018 as part of a new £150m deal with the government.

It will continue to run services between London, the east midlands and parts of the north, but also deliver a host of improvements backed by a £13m investment fund.

As part of the deal the DfT has the option to extend the contract by up to one year.

Planned improvements to be delivered for customers include 22 extra services between Nottingham and Newark Castle on Saturdays by December 2016 and a £1m investment in improving station accessibility, as well as a series of passenger improvements regarding timetables and customer assistance.

Claire Perry, rail minister, said: “This agreement not only provides benefits for passengers today, but also ensures that this franchise is in the best position for the full franchise competition in 2018.

“By laying the groundwork for this now and in conjunction with the significant upgrade works already delivered, such as the transport hub in Nottingham, and those planned and underway for the railway in the area, such as the track doubling between Kettering and Corby, I am confident that we will see the East Midlands franchise continue to provide excellent service for passengers at good value for the taxpayer for many years to come.”

An extra £250,000 will be invested in community rail to expand the station adoption scheme and support work experience initiatives.

Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach’s chief executive, said: “It will build on what our team has achieved over the past eight years and deliver further valuable improvements for the millions of passengers and many communities who rely on the East Midlands Trains network.

“Britain’s railway is part of the fabric of our communities – that is why our plans include more opportunities for graduates and young people, new links with schools, greater investment in community rail, and improved training to help our employees deliver a fist class service to customers.”

Stagecoach Group has also submitted its bid for a new TransPennine Express franchise, with the winning TOC expected to be announced in December of this year ahead of the franchise starting in April.

Additionally its joint venture with Abellio is shortlisted for a new East Anglia franchise, which will be announced in June with the franchise starting on October 2016.

In August, RTM also revealed that East Midlands Trains was paying significantly more premiums to the government – 3.5p per passenger kilometre, up from 0.16p the previous year.


Jb   18/09/2015 at 23:01

When might we see a Manchester/Stockport to St Pancras service again - preferably with a HST? This was much appreciated and would now relieve the WCML of some of the congestion South of Crewe. A competitor to Virgin with its cramped and claustrophobic Pendolinos is badly needed.

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