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EMT cuts London journey times

Faster journeys to London have been launched today by East Midlands Trains (EMT), with the average service now taking 2 hours and 10 minutes. The fastest train to London has been cut by six minutes.

The new timetable has been facilitated by a £70m investment programme being undertaken by EMT and Network Rail. The work includes upgrading track, replacing level crossings, minor resignalling and realignment of part of the track, allowing trains to run at 125mph for the first time.

Clare Burles, HR director for EMT, said: “Over 13 million passengers now use our services to travel to London and the route provides a vital artery for the South Yorkshire region.

“These latest improvements to our timetable highlight just how much service levels have improved since we launched our franchise in 2007. The launch of our December 2008 timetable was the first stage in delivering faster journey times, then through a successful partnership with SYPTE, we brought two trains an hour to the Sheffield-London route in 2009. The launch of today’s timetable will see a further seven minutes knocked off the average journey time to London, which is a great step forward for our passengers.

“We understand the crucial role that faster journeys play in economic growth and we’re therefore very pleased to be launching this new timetable with trains able to run at 125 mph for the very first time, marking the start of the next exciting chapter for this route.”

Julie Hurley, SYPTE interim director of strategy, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with East Midlands Trains and Network Rail to provide these latest improvements, which has not only brought much needed investment to the Midland Main Line and rail in the North, but will see even faster journey times to London.

“Connections between London and South Yorkshire are so important to our local economy and so we continue to press the case very strongly for increased frequencies, which in turn will benefit customers.”

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, added: “The Midland Main Line is an important railway as it connects communities in the East Midlands and provides a key commuter route to London. Our £70million investment will allow trains to run up to 125 miles an hour on sections of the route, bringing significant social and economic benefits to the region through faster journeys and improved reliability. We are working closely with East Midlands Trains to complete the final stages of this programme of investment.” 

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