Open main menu

Wikipedia β

East Midlands Trains[1] (EMT) is a British train operating company owned by Stagecoach Group.

East Midlands Trains
East midl trains logo.svg
222 003 at Chesterfield by Hugh Llewelyn.jpg
Franchise(s) East Midlands
11 November 2007 – August 2019
Main region(s) East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, East of England
Other region(s) Greater London, North West England
Fleet size 24 Class 43 HST power cars
17 Class 153 Super Sprinter sets
15 Class 156 Super Sprinter sets
25 Class 158 Express Sprinter sets
27 Class 222 Meridian sets
Stations called at 87
Stations operated 89
Route km operated 1,567.5
National Rail abbreviation EM
Parent company Stagecoach Group
Route map
Route map
East Midlands Trains InterCity services
Sheffield Supertram (Sheffield)
Nottingham Nottingham Express Transit
Long Eaton
East Midlands Parkway Airport interchange
Market Harborough
Luton Airport Parkway Airport interchange
London St Pancras London Underground

Based in Derby, the company provides train services in the East Midlands and parts of Yorkshire, chiefly in Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire. The franchise commenced in November 2007 with the amalgamation of the Midland Mainline and eastern parts of the Central Trains franchises and will run until August 2019.



In June 2006 the Department for Transport announced its intention to restructure some rail franchises.[2] Included was an East Midlands franchise combining the Midland Mainline franchise with the East Midlands services of the Central Trains franchise.[3]

In September 2006 the Department for Transport announced that Arriva, FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the franchise.[4][5]

In June 2007 the Department for Transport awarded the East Midlands franchise to Stagecoach and services operated by Central Trains and Midland Mainline transferred to East Midlands Trains on 11 November 2007.[6] Originally due to end in March 2015, the franchise has been extended several times and is now planned to finish in August 2019.[7][8][9]

In March 2017, it was announced by the Department for Transport that Arriva, a FirstGroup/Trenitalia joint venture and Stagecoach have been shortlisted to bid for the next franchise.[8]


East Midlands Trains initially divided its services between two sub-brands: Mainline inter-city services, and Connect urban and suburban services,[citation needed] which mainly came from the Central Trains franchise. However, from April 2008, the company dropped the "Mainline" and "Connect" branding in favour of "London" and "Local" services.[citation needed] It also has four broad routes for the areas in which it operates, except for the high-speed services, which all serve London.

EMT promised better integration between "London" and "Local" services, together with increased punctuality and becoming more user-friendly.[10]

On 25 November 2008, Peter Bone (MP for Wellingborough) asked if the Secretary of State for Transport supports the "In the Can" campaign,[11] whereby sardines are sent to the Chief Executive to show dissatisfaction at perceived overcrowding.[12] Helen Southworth (then MP for Warrington South) also raised the overcrowding issue on the same day.[13]

Route-clearance trials have been carried out with Class 222 on routes from Norwich/Nottingham-Liverpool and Lincoln, although East Midlands Trains has no plans to use these units on any service, except on Grand National day when a 7-car train is used from Liverpool-Nottingham only.[citation needed]

London St Pancras servicesEdit

Service Pattern Destination Calling At Stock Journey Time
XX:00 Corby Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering MER 1h 10min
extension to Melton Mowbray (one service north/south) Oakham MER 1h 48min
extension to Derby (one service north/south) Oakham, Melton Mowbray, East Midlands Parkway MER 2h 45min
XX:15 Nottingham Market Harborough, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway HST 1h 40min
XX:26 Sheffield Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Chesterfield MER 2h 15min
extension to York (weekends) / Scarborough (summer Saturdays) Doncaster MER 3h 39min
XX:29 Nottingham Luton Airport Parkway, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Beeston MER 1h 52min
extension to Lincoln (one service north/south) Lowdham (Northbound only), Newark Castle, Collingham MER 2h 52min
XX:58 Sheffield Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield MER 2h 1min
extension to Leeds (some peak services) Wakefield Westgate HST 3h 10min
East Midlands Trains 222009 at London St Pancras with a service to Sheffield
An East Midlands Trains Class 222 Meridian passing Clay Cross, Derbyshire

London Services, (formally branded at Route 1) is the inter-city route on the Midland Main Line. The above table shows the service pattern from the December 2015 timetable change.[14]

The service pattern at the start of the franchise was of 4 off-peak departures from London: 2 fast (1X1 to Sheffield and Nottingham) and 2 stopping (1X1 to Derby and Nottingham). Sheffield peak-hour trains extended from and to Leeds, with weekend services also extending to York/Scarborough. 1 peak-hour Derby service was extended to Burton on Trent and one to Barnsley. EMT made no significant changes until the introduction of its December 2008 timetable.

From December 2008, EMT used the above service pattern (that shown in the box). There are five off-peak departures from London: 2 fast (1X1 to Sheffield and Nottingham), 1 semi-fast (to Sheffield, extended from Derby from December 2009) and 2 stopping (1X1 to Nottingham and Corby/Kettering). A smaller number of Sheffield peak-hour trains continue to extend from and to Leeds, with weekend services also extending to York/Scarborough. In addition a Nottingham service is extended to start from Lincoln, Monday-Saturday.[15] There were plans initially for 2 return services to Skegness through from London in the summer; however, these currently run through from Derby instead of London, because of speed restrictions around Boston. The Burton on Trent and Barnsley services ceased at the beginning of the December 2008 timetable, when Corby services began. 1 Corby service was extended to Melton Mowbray at the outset, and a second was added to Derby from May 2010.

  • From December 2009, East Midlands Trains runs 2tph between Sheffield and London (achieved by extending the xx.25 London-Derby service with a similar changes southbound).
  • Corby benefited from the May 2010 timetable change, which provided an extra daily northbound service. The addition of the Derby service means that passengers now benefit from 2 daily northbound services, 1X1 to Derby and Melton Mowbray. Rail groups hope this will eventually lead to further northbound services from the town.[citation needed]

In December 2013, the Midland Main Line officially started running at 125 mph in some areas, cutting journey times.

Named trainsEdit

Regional servicesEdit

Service Type Route Via
Express/Stopping Liverpool-Norwich/Nottingham Manchester Oxford Road & Piccadilly, Sheffield, Nottingham, Peterborough & Ely
Local stopping Nottingham-Mansfield Woodhouse/Worksop Hucknall, Mansfield
Local stopping Derby-Crewe Uttoxeter, Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove, Alsager
Local stopping Nottingham-Matlock Derby, Belper, Cromford
Local stopping Newark North Gate-Cleethorpes Lincoln Central, Grimsby Town
Local stopping Peterborough-Doncaster Sleaford, Lincoln Central
Local stopping Nottingham-Skegness Bingham, Sleaford, Boston
Local stopping Leicester-Lincoln Central Ivanhoe Line Stations (Leicester-Loughborough), East Midlands Parkway, Nottingham, Newark

East Midlands Trains runs Regional Services across the East Midlands. The Norwich to Liverpool trains are painted white like Mainline services, rather than in the blue scheme used for other regional and local services. The Liverpool Lime Street via Warrington Central, Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly, Sheffield, Nottingham, Peterborough and Ely to Norwich service was historically provided by Central Trains. Nottinghamshire County Council has consistently campaigned for better services between the four core cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham.[17][18] Network Rail's plans for the Manchester Hub would deliver extra train paths along the Hope Valley Line, enabling more trains to run from the North West to the East Midlands.[19] In December 2012, double unit trains were provided for services between Manchester and Nottingham to ease overcrowding.[20]


Sheffield is now served twice an hour by faster, modern trains on the London route. Liverpool - Norwich route trains were doubled in 2011

Tickets are sold in advance, super off-peak, off-peak and anytime formats, the cheapest of these being advance fares. In addition, East Midlands Trains accept the wider Stagecoach Group's smart card scheme, branded "Stagecoach Smart".

Penalty faresEdit

The company introduced a penalty fare scheme in late 2009, covering all mainline stations served by EMT from London to Sheffield via Corby, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Alfreton.


Stagecoach Group, EMT's parent company, introduced Megatrain fares on its London routes on 2 January 2008[21] operating to/from London St Pancras International to Leicester, Loughborough, Derby, Nottingham, Chesterfield and Sheffield.

Megatrain fares have also been introduced on Route 2 between Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Peterborough or Norwich.[22]


East Midlands Parkway is used as an interchange station for combined multi-modal journeys under the brand name "MegabusPlus", whereby passengers are carried by road coach from the cities in the north of England to East Midlands Parkway, where passengers transfer to rail for the service to London.[23]

Routes operated under the "MegabusPlus" brand are between London and:

The bus from Hull and Scunthorpe also had a stop at Doncaster at the launch of MegabusPlus, but due to lack of demand in Doncaster, the service no longer calls there.

Franchise commitmentsEdit

Stagecoach had planned to spend more than £91 million on service improvements.[24]

Train servicesEdit

St Pancras International, the London terminus of East Midlands Trains' services

As part of the 125 mph upgrade on the Midland Main Line (completed in 2013), faster trains now run from Nottingham and Sheffield to London St Pancras. The number of departures from London has also been increased from four to five an hour off-peak incorporating Corby services and extending the hours of operation with earlier arrival and later departures, to allow better connections with Eurostar at St Pancras.[24]


Leicester has received an enhanced service with earlier and later trains so that business travellers can connect with the continent.

More than £5 million has been pledged for station enhancements.[25] These include the opening of East Midlands Parkway station to serve East Midlands Airport and a new station being opened in Corby.

The provision of Wi-Fi Internet at key stations including Leicester,[26] Derby,[27] and Sheffield. Installation of ticket barriers at more stations including London St Pancras Domestic, Derby Midland and Nottingham..[28]

Derby's Etches Park train maintenance depot is in the process of an extensive upgrade.[29]

Introduction of smart card technology, similar to that used on South West Trains, at all London route stations and all those in the Leicester/Derby/Nottingham commuter triangle, and the installation of more self-service ticket machines across the network.[30]

East Midlands Trains also manage stations at which they do not operate services. These stations are all only served by CrossCountry. They are Hinckley, Narborough, South Wigston, Willington and Burton-on-Trent.

On boardEdit

Originally it was proposed to remove the buffet cars from High Speed Train sets as they are very heavy and used only to cook breakfast on some trains; they were to be replaced by an at-seat trolley service.[31] The company reviewed its decision and launched an enhanced catering service for the start of the May 2008 timetable.[32] Since September 2010 Rail Gourmet has provided all standard class catering. WiFi has been available on all services from London since 5 September 2010.[33]


Stagecoach have targeted 90.3% (PPM) on London services and 87% (PPM) on Local services.[34] Previously the Central Trains franchise had had difficulties with timekeeping due to the high number of potential clashes with late running other services en route and use of insufficient stock, causing long dwell times at stations due to slow unloading and loading. Figures released rated Central Trains' performance at 87.8% for the PPM (Public Performance Measure) over the first quarter of the financial year 2007/8.[35] Latest figures released by NR (Network Rail) rated performance over the last year (up to 12 October 2013) at 91.5% (MAA) and 92.0% (PPM) for the seventh period of the financial year 2013/14.[36]

Rolling stockEdit

The refurbished First Class interior aboard a Mark 3 Trailer First HST carriage
The refurbished Standard Class interior aboard a Mark 3 Trailer Standard HST carriage

Other than the lines to Liverpool and Manchester, no East Midlands Trains routes are electrified north of Bedford and all trains are diesel-powered.

East Midlands Trains inherited Midland Mainline’s InterCity 125 (HST) and Class 222 Meridian diesel-electric high-speed trains, along with some of the Sprinter diesel units (classes 153/156/158) formerly operated by Central Trains.

All Class 158 units have been refurbished in a style similar to sister company South West Trains' fleet, although with a higher seating capacity.[37][38]

East Midlands Trains announced in March 2008 that it was to reform its Class 222 sets to prevent overcrowding. This saw the remaining 4-car Class 222 units receive an extra vehicle to become 5-car sets. This was accomplished by reducing one of the 8-car sets to a 5-car, with the remaining 8-car sets reduced to 7-cars. Extra capacity on long-distance routes is provided by running pairs of 5-car sets coupled together.[39]

Hull Trains made a decision to use only Class 180 Adelante units, with its Class 222 Meridian units transferring to East Midlands Trains.[40]

East Midlands Trains began the service from Corby on 23 February 2009.[41] Initially, this was made up of one train per day in each direction, using the existing Meridian fleet.[42] The full Corby service started on 27 April 2009.

The Sprinter fleet that EMT inherited at the start of the franchise was in a very poor state.[43] Problems ranged from basic and simple to major complicated faults. The fleet was put together from various sources - around four different previous companies, with some coming directly from passenger work but some that had been lying idle surplus to requirements off lease in sidings. East Midlands Trains has claimed that it will take the lifetime of the franchise to get the trains to a standard that it is happy with. In addition to the various sources of the trains, passenger figures given to the Department for Transport prior to the franchise were incorrect, leading to a shortfall in the number of seats provided (a 26% decrease in capacity on route 2[43]) compared with what was required.

Four additional Class 156 DMUs, leased from Angel Trains have been cascaded from Northern to enable more route 2 services to run as four-coach trains by using these cascaded Class 156s on Skegness services in lieu of Class 158s. From December 2012 when the Sprinter refurbishment programme is complete, all route 2 services between Liverpool and Nottingham will be able to operate as four-coach trains. In addition, from December 2011 the 13:52 from Liverpool will operate through to Norwich.[44]

In March 2018, East Midlands Trains will obtain an additional three 6-car InterCity 125 sets from Grand Central, which will be used to improve capacity on the Midland Main Line by replacing Class 222 units on some services.[45]

Current fleetEdit

Class Image Type Top speed Fleet size Cars per set Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 43 HST   Loco 125 200 24 8 1976–82
Mark 3 carriage   Coach 108 1975–88
Class 153 Super Sprinter   DMU 75 120 17 1
  • Regional Routes
Class 156 Super Sprinter   DMU 75 120 15 2
  • Regional Routes
Class 158 Express Sprinter   DMU 90 145 26 2
  • Regional Routes
Class 222 Meridian   DEMU 125 200 4 4
  • InterCity routes
17 5
6 7


Barrow upon SoarEdit

On 1 February 2008, an East Midlands train was involved in an incident at Barrow upon Soar. The train hit a footbridge in its path, after a road vehicle had struck and damaged the bridge causing it to be foul of the line. Six passengers were on board the service and the driver had to be cut free from the driving cab.[46]

Market Harborough incidentEdit

On 20 February 2010 an express from London St Pancras to Sheffield was derailed north of Market Harborough, causing track damage and major disruption to rail services for three days. East Midlands Trains put an emergency timetable into place, running services via Melton Mowbray on 21, 22 and 23 February. A complete safety check found no problems in the rest of the fleet.[47][48]


Train crew depots are located at:

  • London - London route drivers, Train Managers, Customer Hosts and revenue protection officers
  • Leicester - Revenue Protection Officers
  • Derby - London and Local route Drivers, Train Managers, Senior Conductors, Crew Leaders, Chefs and Customer Hosts
  • Nottingham - Local route Drivers (although 12 Drivers trained on HST's for Summer Skegness and Charter trains), Train Managers, Senior Conductors, Customer Hosts and Revenue Protection Officers
  • Sheffield - Train Managers, Crew Leaders, Chefs, Customer Hosts and Revenue Protection Officers
  • Boston - Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors
  • Lincoln - Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors
  • Norwich - Local route Drivers and Senior Conductors

Trains are maintained at:

Shunter drivers are employed by EMT at Derby, Nottingham and Leeds.

On-train catering for standard-class passengers on routes 1 and 2 is, as of September 2010, contracted out to Rail Gourmet, which has depots at Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Although all stations are owned by Network Rail, their day-to-day management is handled by train operating companies. EMT manage the following stations: Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Market Harborough, Leicester, Melton Mowbray, Oakham, Stamford, Narborough, Hinckley, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Kidsgrove, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Beeston, Nottingham, Alfreton, Sleaford, Boston and Skegness. They also have staff at St Pancras International, although the station itself is managed by Network Rail

Future of the franchiseEdit

The franchise is due to end in August 2019. The Invitation to Tender is due to be issued in April 2018, which will detail what improvements bidders for the franchise must make. The contract will then be awarded in April 2019.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Companies House extract company no 5340682", East Midlands Trains Limited
  2. ^ "New Cross Country Franchise Consultation Document", Department for Transport June 2006
  3. ^ "Central Trains franchise extended", BBC News 2 April 2006
  4. ^ "Hong Kong bid to run Midland trains", The Telegraph 19 September 2006
  5. ^ "Virgin prepares for rail franchise battle", The Guardian, 19 September 2006
  6. ^ "Department for Transport announces winner of East Midlands franchise". Department for Transport. 22 June 2007. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. 
  7. ^ "New East Midlands direct award franchise agreed". Railway Gazette International. 16 September 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Three prequalify for next East Midlands franchise", Railway Gazette International 1 March 2017
  9. ^ a b "Rail Franchise Schedule" (PDF). UK Department of Transport. 
  10. ^ "More services and extra capacity for the Midlands" (Press release). Department for Transport. 22 June 2007. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. 
  11. ^ "Train Sardine campaign",
  12. ^ "25 November 2008: Column 603". Hansard. 25 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "25 November 2008: Column 1189W". Hansard. 25 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "East Midlands Trains Departure Patterns"
  15. ^ "Direct Lincoln to London train link begins". Lincolnshire Echo. Lincoln. 15 December 2008. 
  16. ^ a b "Passengers and staff name two new business trains for Sheffield". East Midlands Trains. 9 October 2008. 
  17. ^ "Network RUS: Scenarios and Long Distance Forecasts – Nottingham City Council Consultation Response - point 5" (PDF). Network Rail. Nottingham City Council. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "125mph trains to cut journey times". Nottingham Evening Post. 12 April 2008. 
  19. ^ "£530m rail investment proposed for North England cities" (Press release). Network Rail. 16 February 2010. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "More seats now available on our services between Liverpool and Nottingham". East Midlands Trains. 9 December 2012. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "East Midlands Trains announces brand new low cost fares starting at just £1!". East Midlands Trains. 28 November 2007. 
  22. ^ "From the New Year passengers can visit more destinations with East Midlands Trains for a crazy credit crunching price of just £1!". East Midlands Trains. 4 December 2008. 
  23. ^ "Britain's 'greenest' mainline station opened by Hoon". Rail News. Stevenage. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  24. ^ a b "Plans for the future of the East Midlands franchise". Stagecoach Group. 23 June 2007. 
  25. ^ "Plans for the Future", East Midlands Trains.
  26. ^ "Free WiFi for First Class passengers at Leicester station" (Press release). East Midlands Trains. 3 July 2008. 
  27. ^ "Free WiFi for First Class passengers at Derby station" (Press release). East Midlands Trains. 3 July 2008. 
  28. ^ "Installation of gates at Sheffield station" (Press release). East Midlands Trains. 2 July 2008. 
  29. ^ "East Midlands Trains announces £20M depot upgrade contract award" (Press release). East Midlands Trains. 4 November 2008. 
  30. ^ "East Midlands Trains introduces the first of 45 brand new ticket vending machines" (Press release). East Midlands Trains. 24 October 2008. 
  31. ^ "East Midlands Trains saves the great British breakfast". East Midlands Trains. 25 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  32. ^ "East Midlands Trains listens to SOS plea from passengers!". East Midlands Trains. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008. 
  33. ^ "East Midlands Trains starts roll out of on board WiFi". East Midlands Trains. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  34. ^ "About East Midlands Trains franchises better performance".  East Midlands Trains
  35. ^ "National Rail Trends" Office of Rail Regulation
  36. ^ "Rail performance results period 7". Network Rail. 
  37. ^ "East Midlands Trains awards refurbishment contract to local company". East Midlands Trains. 19 June 2008. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2008. 
  38. ^ "East Midlands Trains reveal first refurbished train". East Midlands Trains. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2008. 
  39. ^ "East Midlands Trains Class 222 reformations". The Railway Centre. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2008. 
  40. ^ Modern Railways Issue 772 November 2008
  41. ^ "Train service will leave from Corby this month". Northants Evening Telegraph. Kettering. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  42. ^ "New Corby rail service up and running". Northants Evening Telegraph. Kettering. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2009. 
  43. ^ a b Today's Railways magazine, UK 75 edition, page 30
  44. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  45. ^ Pritchard, Robert (December 2017). "GC HSTs set for March withdrawal and transfer to EMT". Today's Railways (192): 67. 
  46. ^ "Train Driver Critically Injured After Lorry Smashes Into Bridge". Sky News. 1 February 2008. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2008. 
  47. ^ Robinson, Jo (22 February 2010). "Investigation begins into train derailment". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  48. ^ "Trains investigation may take a year". Harborough Mail. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 

External linksEdit