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East Midlands Trains (EMT) is a passenger train operating company operating in the United Kingdommarker. Based in Derbymarker, it provides train services in the East Midlands and surrounding areas, chiefly in the counties of Lincolnshiremarker, South Yorkshiremarker, Nottinghamshiremarker, Leicestershiremarker, Derbyshiremarker and Northamptonshiremarker. The franchise, which began 11 November 2007, was formed through the amalgamation of the former Midland Mainline, which operated inter-city services from Londonmarker to Yorkshiremarker, and the eastern side of Central Trains operating companies.

Legally known as East Midlands Trains Ltd, the parent company of East Midlands Trains is Stagecoach Group which also owns South West Trains and 49% of the Virgin Trains franchise.


Prior to the launch of the franchise, the Department for Transportmarker undertook the task of splitting up the former routes of Central Trains: East Midlands Trains resulted from the letting of the East Midlands franchise.

East Midlands Trains began operating on the East Midlands Franchise from 11 November 2007. EMT has taken over all of the routes formerly operated by National Express Group's Midland Mainline and a few routes from Central Trains.

East Midlands Trains has been affected by the World recession and in March 2009 announced its intention to reduce its staff numbers, this followed a similar announcement at South West Trains earlier in the year.


East Midlands Trains initially divided its services between two sub-brands: Mainline InterCity services, and Connect urban and suburban services, which mainly came from the Central Trains franchise. However, from April 2008, East Midlands Trains dropped the "Mainline" and "Connect" branding in favour of "London" and "Local" services. EMT also has four broad routes for the areas in which they operate, except for the high speed, InterCity services which are all out of London.

EMT has promised better integration between London and Local services, together with increased punctuality and becoming more user friendly.

The new timetables indicate a reduction in off-peak departures at many smaller stations on London and Local routes, which has caused much concern in affected communities. Kettering for example has half its previous northbound services.

In several interviews, East Midlands Trains’ managing director Tim Shoveller indicated that services will be speeded up, not denying that some stations will lose their current high frequency of trains off peak. Various rail user groups have expressed dissatisfaction of various proposals, particularly those affecting smaller stations. Indeed East Midlands Trains have been mentioned in Parliamentary sessions several time due to customer dissatisfaction.

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

Despite public statements claiming improved services, peak time services from St Pancras to Wellingborough in the evening period of 1630 to 1800, have also been reduced from seven to three, and an additional stop has been added to the 1700, as well as reducing the train from eight carriages to five. Furthermore, there is a severely restricted northbound evening peak service from Luton stations with no services to Wellingborough, Kettering or stations north of Leicester (except a single service to Beeston, East Midlands Parkway and Nottingham) between 1651 and 1810.

Route clearance trials have been carried out with Class 222 on routes from Nottingham to Liverpool, Lincoln and Norwich although East Midlands Trains have no current plans to use these units on Liverpool or Norwich services.

London St Pancras Services

Route 1

Service Pattern Destination Calling At Main Stock Journey Time
XX:00 Corbymarker Lutonmarker, Bedfordmarker, Wellingborough, Kettering 222 1hr 40mins
extension to Melton Mowbraymarker (one service north/south) Oakhammarker 222 1hr 55mins
XX:15 Nottinghammarker Market Harboroughmarker, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway HST 1hr 44mins
XX:25 Sheffieldmarker Leicester, Loughboroughmarker, East Midlands Parkwaymarker, Long Eatonmarker, Derbymarker, Chesterfield (most Southbound trains do not call) 222 2hr 27mins
extension to Yorkmarker (weekends) / Scarboroughmarker (summer Saturdays) Doncaster 222 3hr 39mins
XX:30 Nottinghammarker Luton Airport Parkwaymarker, Bedfordmarker, Wellingboroughmarker, Ketteringmarker, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Beestonmarker 222 1hr 56mins
extension to Lincolnmarker (one service north/south) Lowdhammarker, Newark Castlemarker, Collinghammarker 222 2hr 54mins
XX:55 Sheffieldmarker Leicestermarker, Derbymarker, Chesterfieldmarker 222 2hr 9mins
extension to Leedsmarker (some peak services) Doncastermarker, Wakefield Westgatemarker HST 3hr 10mins
Route 1 is the InterCity route on the Midland Main Line. The above table shows the service pattern from the December 2009 timetable change.

The service pattern at the start of the franchise was of four off peak departures from London: two fast (one to Sheffield and one to Nottingham), and two stopping (one to Derby and one to Nottingham). Sheffield peak hour trains extend from and to Leeds with weekend services also extending to York and Scarborough. EMT made no significant changes until the introduction of 'their' timetable in December 2008.

From December 2008 EMT used the above service pattern (that shown in the box). There are five off peak departures from London: three fast (one to Sheffield, one to Nottingham and one to Derby) and two stopping (one to Nottingham and one to Corby/Kettering). A smaller number of Sheffield peak hour trains continue to extend from and to Leeds, with weekend services also extending to York and Scarborough. In addition a Nottingham service is extended to start from Lincoln Monday to Saturday, and during the summer 2 return service to Skegnessmarker from Nottingham will operation between Saturday 18th July and Saturday September 5th. From December 2009 a half hourly Sheffield service will operate.

Future plans
  • East Midlands Trains will run two trains per hour to Sheffield from the December 2009 timetable change. This will be achieved by extending the xx.25 Derby service. Calling patterns will remain the same as now until Derby when the service will go forward to call at Chesterfield and Sheffield. Some Southbound trains will not call at Chesterfield but all Northbound trains will..
  • The possibility of running trains north of Corby is under review for implementation in 2010.

Named trains
  • The Sheffield Continental on the 06:47 Sheffield - St Pancras. Introduced by East Midlands Trains for the start of its December 2008 timetable.
  • The Master Cutler on the 07:27 Sheffield to St Pancras, and 16:55 St Pancras to Sheffield return
  • The South Yorkshireman on the 07:44 Sheffield - St Pancras. Introduced by East Midlands Trains for the start of its December 2008 timetable.
  • The Robin Hood on the 07:50 Nottingham to St Pancras, and returning as the 16:15 St Pancras to Nottingham. A named service inherited from Midland Mainline.

Local services

Route 2

Route Via
Express/Stopping Liverpoolmarker to Norwichmarker/Nottinghammarker Manchester Piccadillymarker, Sheffieldmarker, Nottinghammarker, Peterboroughmarker & Elymarker

Route 2 services cross England from east to west and are former Central Citylink services. EMT sees this as a mainline route (and want to grow it accordingly), and as such will paint relevant trains in the mainline livery.

Nottinghamshire County Councilmarker is working with Network Rail to try and introduce an additional train towards Manchester which would avoid Sheffield creating a faster journey.

Route 3

Route Via
Local stopping Nottinghammarker to Mansfield Woodhousemarker/Worksopmarker Hucknallmarker, Mansfieldmarker
Local stopping Derbymarker to Crewemarker Uttoxetermarker, Longtonmarker, Stoke-on-Trentmarker
Local stopping Derbymarker to Matlockmarker Belpermarker, Cromfordmarker

Route 3 services link towns in the East Midlands and provide direct services to Crewe and Stoke. The Derby to Matlock service links to the Peak Districtmarker.

Nottinghamshire County Council has paid for a study into increasing the line speed between Newark and Lincoln from 60mph to 90mph; they have also requested a doubling of service on the line.

Route 4

East Midlands Trains 153374 seen at Lincoln.
Route Via
Local stopping Newark North Gatemarker to Cleethorpesmarker Lincoln Centralmarker, Grimsby Townmarker
Local stopping Peterboroughmarker to Doncastermarker Sleafordmarker, Lincoln Central
Local stopping Nottinghammarker to Skegnessmarker Binghammarker, Sleaford, Bostonmarker
Local stopping Leicestermarker to Lincoln Centralmarker East Midlands Parkwaymarker, Nottinghammarker, Newarkmarker

Route 4 services link the East Midlands with eastern England.


Fares are set to rise by an average of 3.4% plus inflation each year. Stagecoach says that it needs to increase prices to keep its service going and to meet Government profit demands. 3.4% plus inflation over the franchise could mean a 58% fare increase over the length of the franchise, although the percentage increases relate to averages across a range of fares and deals.


Stagecoach Group, EMT's parent company, introduced Megatrain fares on its London routes on 2 January 2008 operating to/from London St Pancras Internationalmarker to

Megatrain fares have now been introduced on Route 2 between Sheffield and Norwich and includes a lot of intermediate stations.


East Midlands Parkwaymarker will be used as an interchange station for combined multi-modal journeys MegabusPlus will transport passengers from the cities in the north of England to East Midlands Parkway, where passengers will transfer to rail for the service to London.

Routes operated under the MegabusPlus brand will be to/from London to

Franchise commitments

Stagecoach are currently spending more than £91 million on service improvements.

Train services

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

Faster trains from Nottinghammarker and from Sheffieldmarker to London St Pancrasmarker.

Increasing the number of departures from London to five an hour off-peak incorporating Corbymarker services and extending the hours of operation with earlier arrival and later departures, to allow better connections with Eurostar.

London to Lincolnmarker daily service via Nottingham.

East Midlands Trains Local Matlockmarker to Derby services run hourly and extend to Nottingham. A new Sunday Service runs on the Robin Hood Line between Nottingham and Mansfield Woodhouse. Trains will be lengthened on the west to east Liverpool Lime Streetmarker to Norwichmarker route on weekdays. There will be an internal and external refit of all of the old trains to incorporate the new logo and livery.

Other changes to the timetable are planned, but these need to have approval from Network Rail, Office of Rail Regulation and the Department for Transportmarker. Journey times will be further improved after planned infrastructure works are completed.

The Department for Transportmarker in their franchise specification gave an indication of their ambitions for the timetable; this mainly related to former Midland Mainline services operating to and from London St Pancrasmarker.

  St Pancras – Sheffieldmarker (stopping only at the key locations of Chesterfieldmarker, Derbymarker and Leicestermarker with faster timings of 2hr 08min).
  St Pancras – Ketteringmarker. This train would run as a dedicated commuter/short distance service and in the future extend to Corby stationmarker.
  St Pancras – Derbymarker (fast service).
  St Pancras – Nottinghammarker (fast)
  St Pancras – Lincolnmarker (stopping service, extended from Nottingham at peak times).
  The current morning and evening services from and to Leedsmarker are to continue as the HST fleet will continue to be maintained at Neville Hillmarker depot in Leeds.
  Weekend services to Yorkmarker and Scarboroughmarker will continue beyond the December 2008 timetable change.
  Services to and from Barnsleymarker and Burton upon Trentmarker will cease to operate from the December 2008 timetable.
  There has been no mention of the proposed timetable in Lincolnshire and the other rural lines although it is expected that service patterns will remain as now until the 2008 timetable change when there will be extensive consultation sessions. Standard hourly timetables are expected to be introduced on many routes.
  The 2008 timetable changes reduce frequency, capacity and speed of services between London, Kettering and Wellingborough.


More than £5 million has been pledged for station enhancements. These include the opening of East Midlands Parkway stationmarker to serve the large East Midlands Airportmarker. The opening of a new station at Corbymarker in December 2008.

The provision of Wi-Fi Internet at key stations including Leicester, Derby, and Sheffield.Installation of ticket barriers at four more stations including London St Pancras Domesticmarker, Derby Midlandmarker, Nottinghammarker and Sheffieldmarker.

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

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

East Midlands Trains also manage stations at which they don't operate services:

On board

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. The company reviewed its decision and launched an enhanced catering service for the start of the May 2008 timetable.


Stagecoach plan to achieve a 90.3% (PPM) on London services and 87% (PPM) on Local services. 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. Latest figures released by the ORR rated performance over the last year (up to 30 June 2009) at 90.3% (MAA) and 93.0% (PPM) for the first quarter of the financial year 2009/10.


Barrow upon Soar

On 1 February 2008, an East Midlands Trains Class 158 158856 working a service from Nottinghammarker to Norwichmarker was involved in an incident at Barrow upon Soarmarker. The train hit a footbridge that was 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.

Neville Hill Maintenance depot

On 17 November 2009, two empty East Midlands Trains |High Speed Train sets collided at 2 AM whilst moving about the maintenance depot in Leeds.

Rolling stock

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.
East Midlands Trains inherited Midland Mainline’s InterCity 125 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 are to be fully refurbished to the same standards as the South West Trains Class 158/159 fleet.

The High Speed Train/InterCity 125 sets are being refurbished over a sixty week period. The first set was shown off to the public at the Neville Hill Open Day in September. The refurbishment only features a retrim of carpets & the existing Intercity 70 seat design and new daldo side panels, wall ends and seat top hand grips being repainted. Unfortunately the LED reading lights in First Class carriages are being removed and the wheelchair accessible toilets are not being updated to meet the Disablity Discrimination Act.

East Midlands Trains announced in March 2008 that it was to reform its Class 222 sets to prevent overcrowding. This will see 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 its long distance routes is provided by running pairs of 5-car sets coupled together.

Current fleet


Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 43 High Speed Train diesel locomotive 125 200 26 Route 1 and Route 4 (Skegness) Summer saturdays from 2009 1976 – 1982
Mk.3 Coach Passenger Rolling stock 125 200 108 Route 1 and Route 4 (Skegness Summer Sat from 2009) 1975 - 1988

HST names
43048 T.C.B. Miller MBE
43049 Neville Hillmarker
43082 The Railway Children
  • 43064 and 43081 have lost their temporary names given for the (Paxman) Valenta Farewell.

  • 43089 is East Midlands Trains' 26th powercar. 43089 was a Hitachi Hybrid powercar and was sent to Brush Tractionmarker, Loughborough, to have its Hitachi power unit removed and was returned to standard specification.

  • 43072 (Derby Etches Park) had recently had its name plates removed following engine fire earlier this year. It has recently reentered service early July 2009 in the new operator's livery.

East Midlands Trains are currently replacing the original cabs and engines. The work also involves a repaint and electronics refurbishment. 43050 is the final power car with the original cab.

Meridian and Pioneer

Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages per unit Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 222/0 Meridian diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 23 5 or 7 Route 1 2003 - 2004
Class 222/1 Pioneer diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 4 4 Route 1 2004
Meridian names
222003 Tornado

All 4 of the Class 222/1 units from First Hull Trains, have now been transferred to allow enough stock to be free for the new service to Corbymarker.

First Hull Trains made a decision to use only Class 180 'Adelante' units, with their Class 222 'Pioneer' units transferring to East Midlands Trains.

East Midlands Trains began the service from Corby 23 February 2009. Initially, this was made up of one train per day in each direction, and was be met by the existing Meridian fleet.. The full Corby service started on 27 April 2009.


The sprinter fleet which EMT inherited at the start of the franchise was in a very poor state. Issues with the fleet ranged from the basic and simple to fix 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 laying idle surplus to requirement off lease in sidings. East Midlands Trains have claimed that it will take the lifetime of the franchise to get the trains to a standard that they are happy with. In addition to the various sources of the trains, passenger figures given to the Department for Transportmarker prior to the franchise were incorrect leading to a shortfall in the number of seats provided (a 26% decrease in capacity on route 2) to that which are required, responsibility for this is debated.

When London Overground get their new Class 172 Turbostars running to replace their Class 150 DMUs, EMT could be receiving 5 or 6 2-car Class 150 DMUs.

Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages per Unit Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 153 Super Sprinter diesel multiple unit 75 120 18 1 Route 3
Route 4
1987 – 1988
Class 156 Super Sprinter diesel multiple unit 75 120 11 2 Route 3
Route 4
1987 – 1989
Class 158 Express Sprinter diesel multiple unit 90 145 27 2 Route 2
Route 4
1989 – 1992


External links

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