Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) has welcomed transformational improvements to rolling stock and rail services that will be unlocked following the award of the next East Midlands Rail Franchise.
The new franchise has been awarded to Abellio, starting on 18th August 2019 and lasting for up to 10 years. Abellio will operate train services under a new permanent ‘East Midlands Railway’ brand.
Based on the previously published invitation to tender (ITT), the new franchise will deliver:
- A major investment in rolling stock, including a fleet of new intercity bi-mode trains – which will also create business opportunities for the East Midlands’ world class rail sector
- A significant increase in the number of seats on peak London services and improved journey times, as well as improvements to capacity and comfort on local and regional services
- More Sunday services and early and late running trains – including to the Lincolnshire Coast
- Significant investment in and around stations
- Better planning for services to visitor attractions and to major events, and more support for Community Rail Partnerships which work to promote under-used rail lines; and
- Much needed improved ticketing, compensation arrangements and free wifi on trains and at stations for passengers.
TfEM has been working alongside the Department for Transport over the last three years to secure the best outcome for communities and businesses across the East Midlands, and through a separate process liaising with all three bidders for the rail franchise.