A new all electric train service, running twice hourly between Corby and London St Pancras, has been introduced by East Midlands Railway (EMR).
EMR Connect, which uses a fleet of electric Class 360 trains, is the operator’s first electric route and is expected to deliver reduced carbon emissions of up to 77%, as well as reducing noise pollution for lineside residents and businesses.
The new route debuted as part of timetable changes introduced by EMR on May 16, 2021.
In advance of the new route’s introduction, EMR has spent the last six months training 87 mainline drivers and 107 train managers across four train crew depots to work on the Class 360s.
More staff are set to be trained in the coming weeks and months.
Working in collaboration with Siemens Mobility, EMR worked to enable the fleet reached the required speed of 110mph for the route and the first trains of the 21-strong fleet underwent extensive test runs between their new home at Kettering Depot Sidings to Cricklewood, which was 66 miles away.
Simon Brick, a Driver Instructor at EMR, was part of the team who trained the staff and will drive the Class 360s himself too. He said: “What I am looking forward to most of all is to be able to drive a more dynamic and powerful train.
“Being electric, the 360s accelerate faster than our current fleet and react quicker to driver inputs. With this in mind, the 360s will enhance our working day and allow us to be able to widen our skillsets and ongoing development.
“I have seen so many colleagues contribute and come together to overcome many challenges to get the project to this stage.
“It has been a great privilege to be able to contribute from a driver’s aspect and I’m enjoying delivering the traction training course with my fellow Instructors.”
Jonathan Rolling, On Train Depot Manager at EMR, added: “It is great to see the arrival of the class 360 fleet. This is something that we have all been waiting a long time to see in the south of the route.
“The benefits this added capacity brings to the Midland Main Line and to our customers will be huge.
“It really will be a proud moment to see every part of this project come together and I can’t wait to see the first Class 360 run between Corby and London St Pancras."