East Midlands Railway

East Midlands Railway (EMR) is a train operating company in England, owned by Abellio, and is the current operator of the East Midlands franchise.

East Midlands Railway
Leicester - Abellio 222104 Lincoln service.JPG
Class 222 at Leicester in EMR Intercity livery
Franchise(s)East Midlands
18 Aug 2019 – 21 Aug 2027
Main region(s)East Midlands
Greater London
South Yorkshire
North West England
Other region(s)East of England
Parent companyAbellio
Reporting markEM
PredecessorEast Midlands Trains
Route map
Route map


In March 2017, the Department for Transport announced Arriva, a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, and incumbent Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the next East Midlands franchise.[1] Abellio was added in February 2018.[2]

FirstGroup and Trenitalia pulled out of the bidding process in April 2018 to focus on the West Coast Partnership franchise.[3] In April 2019 the franchise was awarded to Abellio, with East Midlands Railway (EMR) to take over the franchise from East Midlands Trains (EMT) on 18 August 2019 for a period of eight years.[4]

In June 2019, Abellio revealed branding and colour scheme using distinct purple and white colours to reflect the heritage of the East Midlands. It also confirmed it would divide the services into three segments:[5]

  • EMR Intercity for long-distance services from London St Pancras
  • EMR Regional for services across the East Midlands
  • EMR Electrics for the outer suburban London St Pancras to Corby service


EMR operates commuter services from London St Pancras to Corby, as well as intercity services from London St Pancras along the Midland Main Line to Nottingham and Sheffield with limited extensions to Lincoln, Leeds and York. EMR also operate the local East Midlands services and inter regional services to Liverpool and Norwich (Express service). Services from Nottingham to Liverpool Lime Street were to transfer to another operator during the life of the franchise,[6] although following a review by the DfT, this will no longer take place; the service instead being split at Nottingham as intended but remaining with EMR.[7] The Barton line was expected to transfer from Northern in 2019, but this has been delayed.[8]

Over the course of the franchise, several planned timetable changes are to be made:[6]

  • Earlier and later trains between Sheffield and Nottingham to East Midlands Parkway
  • Earlier and later trains between Sheffield and London St Pancras and more regular evening service to London St Pancras
  • 2 trains per hour between Nottingham and Kettering
  • 2 trains per hour between Corby and London St Pancras
  • Regular Sunday service between Corby and London St Pancras
  • Liverpool to Norwich split at Nottingham
  • Norwich to Nottingham extended to Derby
  • Regular hourly Sunday service between Norwich and Derby
  • Crewe to Derby service extended to Nottingham and hourly service on Sundays
  • Hourly Sunday service between Matlock and Nottingham
  • Hourly service between Nottingham and Grimsby Town with limited extension to Cleethorpes
  • Hourly Sunday service between Lincoln and Grimsby Town
  • Hourly service between Nottingham and Newark Castle
  • Hourly Sunday service between Worksop and Nottingham and later evening services on weekdays
  • Additional peak services between Nottingham and Grantham
  • Earlier and later trains between Nottingham and Boston
  • Later evening service on weekdays and a new Sunday service
  • Hourly through service between Doncaster and Peterborough via Lincoln
  • New Sunday service between Doncaster and Lincoln
  • Enhanced Sunday service on Barton to Cleethorpes route
  • 2 trains per day between Lincoln and London St Pancras
  • Newark Northgate to Grimsby Town service cut back to Lincoln except to for the limited extension to Cleethorpes and timed to run with LNER's London Kings Cross - Lincoln service
EMR Intercity
Route tph Calling at Stock
London St Pancras - Corby 1 Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering 222
London St Pancras - Nottingham 1 Luton Airport Parkway, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Beeston
1 Market Harborough, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway 43
London St Pancras - Sheffield 1 Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Chesterfield 222
1 Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield
EMR Regional
Route tph Calling at Stock
Liverpool Lime Street - Norwich (regional express) 1 Liverpool South Parkway, Widnes, Warrington Central, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Nottingham, Grantham, Peterborough, Ely, Thetford 153
Crewe - Derby 1 Alsager, Kidsgrove, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, Longton, Blythe Bridge, Uttoxeter, Tutbury and Hatton, Peartree (limited)
Matlock - Newark Castle 1 Matlock Bath, Cromford, Whatstandwell, Ambergate, Belper, Duffield, Derby, Spondon (limited), Long Eaton, Attenborough, Beeston, Nottingham, Carlton, Burton Joyce (1tp2h), Lowdham, Thurgarton (1tp2h), Bleasby (1tp2h), Fiskerton, Rolleston (1tp2h)
Stations served two-hourly are all served by the same train.
Leicester - Lincoln Central 1 Syston, Sileby, Barrow-upon-Soar, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Beeston, Nottingham, Newark Castle, Collingham, Swinderby (1tp2h), Hykeham
Worksop - Nottingham 1 Whitwell, Creswell, Langwith-Whaley Thorns, Shirebrook, Mansfield Woodhouse, Mansfield, Sutton Parkway, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Newstead (Worksop-bound only), Hucknall, Bulwell (Nottingham-bound only)
Mansfield Woodhouse - Nottingham 1 Mansfield, Sutton Parkway, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Newstead (Nottingham-bound only), Hucknall, Bulwell (Mansfield-bound only)
Nottingham - Skegness 1 Netherfield (limited), Radcliffe (limited), Bingham, Aslockton (irregular), Elton and Orston (limited), Bottesford (1tp2h), Grantham, Ancaster (limited), Rauceby (limited), Sleaford, Heckington, Swineshead (limited), Hubberts Bridge (limited), Boston, Thorpe Culvert (limited), Wainfleet, Havenhouse (limited)
Newark North Gate - Grimsby Town 12 Collingham (limited), Swinderby (limited), Hykeham (limited), Lincoln Central, Market Rasen, Barnetby, Habrough
Some of these services are separated into two at Lincoln Central.
Lincoln Central - Peterborough 1 Metheringham, Ruskington, Sleaford, Spalding
Doncaster - Lincoln Central Gainsborough Lea Road, Saxilby
Limited service; only 4–5 trains each way per day.

Rolling stockEdit

East Midlands Railway inherited a fleet of 28 Class 43s, 21 Class 153s, 15 Class 156s, 26 Class 158s, and 27 Class 222s from East Midlands Trains. In January 2020 nine additional Class 156 units from Greater Anglia were introduced into service. This allowed 18 Class 153 units to be withdrawn from service. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic four Class 153 units were brought back into service to help with social distancing. Nine 8-carriage InterCity 125 sets have also been transferred from London North Eastern Railway, with the first set having entered service on 4 May 2020.[9][10]

By the end of 2022 East Midlands Railway plans to run EMR Intercity services using 33 new bi-mode Class 810s, EMR Electric services using 21 refurbished Class 360s, and EMR Regional services using 40 Class 170s. East Midlands Railway will become the largest operator of Class 170s. The new and refurbished trains will provide:[11]

  • a more reliable service
  • improved comfort
  • passenger information system displays
  • free on-board Wi-Fi
  • at-seat power sockets
  • USB points
  • air conditioning
  • tables at all seats
  • increased luggage space

Current fleetEdit

Trainset Class Image Type Top Speed Number Cars Routes Operated and Notes: Built
mph km/h
Shunting locomotive
08[12]   Shunter 15 24 4 N/A Stock movements 1952–62
EMR Intercity
InterCity 125 43   Loco 125 200 3 6 or 8 1976–82
Mark 3   Coach 106 1975–88
Bombardier Voyager 222 Meridian  
DEMU 125 200 4 4 2003–05
17 5
6 7


EMR Regional
Sprinter 153 Super Sprinter   DMU 75 120 11 1
  • Regional routes
156 Super Sprinter  
24 2
  • Regional routes

158/0 Express Sprinter   90 145 26 2
  • Regional routes

Bombardier Turbostar 170   DMU 100 161 2 3
  • Regional routes

Future fleetEdit

Originally nine former LNER High Speed Train sets were to replace a similar number of sets inherited from East Midlands Trains. However after the carriages were found to require more repairs than originally envisaged, this was cut back to five sets.[13]

Other existing stock to be added will consist of 21 Class 360s from Greater Anglia, 28 Class 170s (five from Abellio ScotRail and 23 from West Midlands Trains[14]), 12 Class 171s from Southern (which will be converted back to Class 170s) and four Class 180s from Hull Trains.[15][16] Those altogether will enable the High Speed Trains, Class 153, Class 156 and Class 158 sets to be withdrawn, although some of the gaps were to be filled in when the Liverpool-Nottingham service was taken over by another operator. This will now not take place, with a proposal made to transfer 15 Class 185 units from TransPennine Express to prevent the shortfall in stock caused by EMR retaining this service. [17]

The Class 360 will be introduced as a result of the electrification of the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Corby and will displace Class 222 from London-Corby services. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the electrification between Bedford and Corby has been delayed and the Class 360s are now expected to enter service in May 2021 instead of December 2020.[18] The Class 222s will then work on other InterCity Routes where they will replace the HSTs, working alongside the Class 180s by mid-2021. The Class 180s intend to replace the ex-Grand Central 6-carriage HSTs from December 2020.[19][20]

To replace the Class 180 and Class 222 units, 33 5-carriage Class 810 bi-mode trains will be introduced in 2023. [21][22] In May 2020, EMR opened a competition to give the class their own unique brand name.[23] In October 2020, EMR announced that the fleet will have the 'Aurora' brand.[24]

Trainset Class Image Type Top Speed Number Cars Routes Operated In Service
mph km/h
EMR Intercity
Alstom Coradia 180 Adelante   DMU 125 200 4 5 2020
Hitachi AT300 810 Aurora   BMU 125 200 33[25] 5 2023[26]
EMR Electrics
Siemens Desiro 360   EMU 110 180 21 4 2021[27]
EMR Regional
Bombardier Turbostar 170   DMU 100 161 23[28] 2
  • Regional routes
  100 161 3 3
  • Regional routes
  100 161 4 2
  • Regional routes

To be converted from ex-Southern Class 171s

8 3


Past fleetEdit

As of July 2020, 10 Class 153s have been withdrawn from EMR's regional fleet, 4 were transferred to Transport for Wales, whilst the remaining 6 units went into storage. 18 Class 153s will be replaced by the 9 Class 156s transferred from Greater Anglia. However, some units have been brought back into service to help with social distancing on services. As of October 2020, 7 Class 43s have gone into storage, 5 were transferred to Locomotive Services Limited, 4 were transferred to D.A.T.S Ltd, 2 were transferred to Colas Rail and 1 was transferred to the 125 Group. As of October 2020, 30 Mark 3 Coaches have been withdrawn from service and sent for scrap. The InterCity 125 sets East Midlands Railway inherited from East Midlands Trains are being withdrawn to make way for the ex-LNER InterCity 125 sets which are more compliant with new regulations.

Trainset Class Image Type Top Speed Number Cars Routes Transferred to Withdrawn
mph km/h
EMR Intercity
InterCity 125 43   Loco 125 200 19 N/A Storage (7)

Locomotive Services Limited (5)

D.A.T.S Ltd (4)

Colas Rail (2)

125 Group (1)

Mark 3   Coach 30 Scrapped (30)
EMR Regional
Sprinter 153 Super Sprinter   DMU 75 120 10 1
  • Regional routes
Storage (6)

Transport for Wales (4)



EMR operates two depots; Derby Etches Park and Nottingham Eastcroft. The High Speed Trains are maintained at Neville Hill TMD.[29]


  1. ^ Three prequalify for next East Midlands franchise Railway Gazette International 1 March 2017
  2. ^ Abellio joins East Midlands franchise shortlist Railway Gazette International 6 February 2018
  3. ^ First Group and Trenitalia pull out of East Midlands franchise contest International Railway Journal 23 April 2018
  4. ^ More seats, services and state-of-the-art trains for passengers on new East Midlands railway Department for Transport 10 April 2019
  5. ^ Pegden, Tom. "How Midland Mainline trains will soon look". Leicester Mercury. Reach plc. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  6. ^ a b East Midlands Rail Franchise Department for Transport
  7. ^ https://www.railwaygazette.com/uk/emr-set-to-retain-liverpool-nottingham-service/57213.article
  8. ^ East Midlands rail franchise consultation Department for Transport
  9. ^ Clinnick, Richard. "Cascaded LNER HSTs to plug the gap in East Midlands fleet". Rail. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  10. ^ First EMR HST replacement in service next week Railway Herald Issue 673 22 January 2020 page 8
  11. ^ http://maps.dft.gov.uk/east-midlands-rail-franchise/
  12. ^ Brown, Doc. "08 Train". DocBrown. Phil Brown. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  13. ^ Ex LNER 43 moved to Barrow Hill Rail issue 917 4 November 2020 page 31
  14. ^ Clinnick, Richard. "Progress on new train fleets continues". RAIL. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  15. ^ Hitachi rumoured to have won EMR bi-mode deal Rail issue 884 31 July 2019 page 28
  16. ^ East Midlands Railway unveils new look Today's Railways UK issue 212 August 2019 page 13
  17. ^ https://www.railwaygazette.com/uk/emr-set-to-retain-liverpool-nottingham-service/57213.article
  18. ^ https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/transport/big-changes-kettering-wellingborough-and-corby-train-services-delayed-until-next-year-2904630
  19. ^ EMR Regional Fleet in the future
  20. ^ EMR Bi-Mode Specification Confirmed Modern Railways issue 856 January 2020 page 19
  21. ^ "Abellio invests £400 million in new Hitachi trains for East Midlands Railway". 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  22. ^ Abellio orders East Midlands inter-city fleet Railway Gazette International 30 July 2019
  23. ^ "EMR launches competition to name new Intercity fleet | EMR | East Midlands Railway". www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  24. ^ "Aurora - the name for East Midlands Railway Class 810 trains". RailAdvent. 2020-10-27. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  25. ^ Pritchard, Robert, ed. (September 2019). "Hitachi Scoops Order for East Midlands". Today's Railways. No. 213. Sheffield: Platform 5. p. 6. ISSN 1475-9713.
  26. ^ https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2020/10/aurora-the-name-for-east-midlands-railway-class-810-trains.html
  27. ^ https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/transport/big-changes-kettering-wellingborough-and-corby-train-services-delayed-until-next-year-2904630
  28. ^ 170630-170635 formerly in 3 car formation
  29. ^ A New Era for the East Midlands as Abellio starts its fifth franchise Today's Railways UK issue 214 October 2019 pages 24-26

External linksEdit

Preceded by
East Midlands Trains
Operator of East Midlands franchise
Succeeded by