December 2020 timetable consultation is now open

  • Major changes planned for East Midlands Railway (EMR) services from December 2020
  • Includes thousands of extra seats and quicker journeys to and from London St Pancras International
  • Consultation runs for 12 weeks and closes 14th February 2020

The public consultation into EMR’s December 2020 timetable is now open to passengers, businesses, stakeholders and local communities across the East Midlands route.

December 2020 will see a significant change to EMR services, particularly those travelling to and from London St Pancras International. It includes the segregation of services between EMR Intercity and the introduction of a new service, EMR Electrics, which will run between Corby and London St Pancras International.

Combined, these changes will provide:

  • Up to 30 minutes’ quicker journey times for some EMR Intercity services
  • Up to 13,000 additional standard class seats to and from London St Pancras every week day
  • Earlier morning and later evening services
  • Simpler and more consistent timetable with a more even spread of departure times
  • Improved services for London Luton and East Midlands Airports

There are also proposals for improvements to EMR Regional services, including:

  • Extending Crewe to Derby services through to Newark Castle, providing additional service between Derby and Nottingham
  • Later evening services between Leicester and Nottingham
  • Services from Grimsby will extend to Leicester every two hours, providing the first direct service to Nottingham and Leicester for over a decade

There are further timetable improvements proposed which are a step towards a more substantial improvement for EMR Regional services in December 2021. A further consultation for these changes will take place towards the end of 2020.

The consultation runs for 12 weeks and will close at midnight on 14th February 2020. The consultation document and survey for responses are available online at www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/december2020

The consultation document is split by line of route and includes a separate page for each station on the Midland Main Line. This is intended to help passengers and communities easily understand what the proposals will mean for them and their journeys.

Julian Edwards, Managing Director, East Midlands Railway, said: “Our proposals for the December 2020 timetable would deliver a step change in capacity, improve journey times and introduce a simpler and more consistent timetable.

“Although some of the changes, such as the introduction of electric services between London and Corby, are a requirement of our franchise there is still the opportunity to fine tune and improve our plans.

“We know how important a reliable and punctual railway is for the towns and cities we serve. December 2020 is a vitally important part of our promise to deliver more seats, more services and better journeys for our customers and we look forward to your feedback.”

To read the proposals and respond to the consultation, please visit www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/december2020

LNER HST Farewell

Details have today begun to appear concerning the expected LNER tribute to the HST.

An earlier tweet from Tim Dunn has got the ball rolling with LNER stating they will provide further information in the coming days to confirm final details.

© @MrTimDunn

It is believed that 43302. the World record holder for the fastest diesel locomotive, along with a set of 7 MK3 coaches and a second power car will be repainted, not vinyled, into original BR HST colours for the special charity journeys.

© @MrTimDunn

The charity journeys are expected to be –

18 Dec: Edinburgh to Aberdeen

19 Dec: Aberdeen to Newcastle via Inverness

20 Dec: Newcastle to Leeds via York

21 Dec: Leeds to Kings Cross

The charities to benefit are believed to be,

The Samaritans

https://www.samaritans.org

The CALM Zone

https://www.thecalmzone.net

We are awaiting confirmation from LNER on the final details, but it appears the cat is well and truly out of the bag!

Heritage Painting (http://www.heritage-painting.com) will take care of the Powercars, and they couldn’t be in better hands, judging by their recent work with the 125 Group on their fleet of MK3s.

The MK3 coaching stock is believed to be being taken care of at Craigentinny Depot.

Interest in this final HST fling is likely to be off the scale, we recommend keeping a close eye on LNER social media accounts in the coming days if you want to be part of this fond farewell.

East Midlands Railway introduces ground breaking support for local communities

  • Two brand new funding pots available for Community Rail Partnerships and Station Adopters
  • Over £100,000 available until April
  • Part of EMR’s commitment to empower local communities with over £2.5million available over next eight years
  • Funds designed to improve local stations and enhance community opportunities

East Midlands Railway is encouraging Community Rail Partnerships and Station Adoption Groups to apply for a share of significant new funding to bring their ideas to life and transform their local stations and enhance their local communities.  

It is part of EMR’s commitment to invest more than £600 million to improve all parts of the network for passengers, communities and to support a thriving East Midlands.

The funding is split into two schemes; ‘Community Development Fund’ and ‘Station Improvement Fund’ and will be available every year.

The Community Development Fund is used to support initiatives that have significant impact in the wider communities EMR serves, including programmes to work with local schools and other community groups.

The Station Improvement Fund supports ideas to significantly improve local stations, to ensure they are welcoming and integral parts of their local communities.

Donna Adams, Community Engagement Manager, EMR said: “Both of these funding streams are vital in making a difference to the communities that we serve and understanding what their needs are.

“We are looking forward to receiving applications from our Community Rail Partnerships and Station Adoption Groups and bringing their projects and ideas to life”.

Jools Townsend, ACoRP Chief Exec said: “We are delighted that East Midlands Railway is supporting community rail partnerships and groups with the introduction of these two funding schemes.

“This will empower groups to bring their stations and railways closer to the community, helping local people get the most from their railway, and promoting sustainable travel opportunities”.

To find out more about how to apply for funding, please contact stationadoption@eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk

Latest on floods affecting Northern

Northern warns flooding disruption in South Yorkshire may continue until Monday morning – Updated 6pm Saturday 9 Nov

Northern is warning customers in South Yorkshire that some routes are likely to stay closed at least until Monday morning.

While flooding in the area continues to subside, tracks in several locations remain under water.

Flooding at Todmorden

Northern is working closely with colleagues at Network Rail to return normal working to the railway as soon as possible, but conditions are difficult and many assessments can only take place once all water has been removed.

A spokesman for Northern said: “Flooding in some parts of South Yorkshire continues to have an impact on our ability to run services.

“The rail industry is doing all it can to deal with the issues caused by flood water, but in many cases the full picture will not be apparent until all water has been drained from the tracks.”

The spokesman added: “Until further notice we are still advising customers not to travel in some areas as rail travel is not possible and roads are also badly affected.

Rotherham tracks

“Colleagues from Network Rail are working around the clock to try to return to normal working conditions and we would like to thank our customers in South Yorkshire – and across the North – for their ongoing patience and understanding.”

Northern customers across the network are advised to allow extra time for travel and to check ahead as there remains potential for disruption to services and timetables may be amended on some routes.

Status at 6pm on Saturday 9 November

Customers are advised not to travel on the following routes until further notice:

  • Doncaster – Scunthorpe, due to flood water at Kirk Sandall the line remains closed with no estimate as to when the route will re-open
  • Sheffield – Goole, flooding continues to cause issues and there is no current estimate for when the route will re-open
  • Sheffield – Doncaster, due to severe flooding at Rotherham and between Mexborough and Conisbrough disruption is expected to continue and there is no current estimate for when the route will re-open

There are also problems still affecting other lines in the North:

  • Sheffield  – Leeds via Moorthorpe, flooding at Rotherham Central and Consibrough means services will not call at Rotherham until further notice

For up-to-the-minute train running information please check National Rail Enquiries.

Emotional tribute to railway hero – SWR worker pays respect to his great-grandfather, 100 years after first memorial service

Matthew Phillips, South Western Railway team member based at Putney station, has a special connection to the railway. His great-grandfather worked on the very same route (then called the London and South Western Railway) over a century ago as a parcel porter in Southampton.

Tragically, after signing up to fight on the Western front during World War One, Arthur Wilkins was killed in action at the age of just 21, on 15 April 1918.

His great-grandson Matthew was invited to represent SWR at the Centenary Memorial Service, at Southwark Cathedral on Wednesday, commemorating those who lost their lives during both world wars. He will also lay a wreath at the Victory Arch memorial on Armistice Day, along with SWR’s Managing Director, in honour of fallen railwaymen.

Arthur is commemorated (as AJJ Wilkins) on the Great War memorial by the Victory Gate stairs, at Waterloo station. He worked for LSWR as a parcel porter at Southampton Central and in 1916 at the age of 19 volunteered to join the Hampshire Regiment. Having been injured at Paaschendaele, he returned home to convalesce before re-joining the war again in France with the 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry (fighting alongside the author C.S. Lewis).

Arthur’s regiment played an important part of a wider effort in repelling the final great assault by the German army across France and Belgium at La Bassee Canal.

Arthur was killed on 15 April 1918 at the age of 21, leaving his wife and daughter (Matthew’s grandmother). 

Andy Mellors, Managing Director for South Western Railway, said 

“It was a honour to attend the event at Southwark Cathedral, 100 years after the first service of commemoration. It will be a very special moment to lay a wreath at the Victory Arch on Armistice Day, with Arthur’s great-grandson Matthew.”

Matthew Phillips said of his great-grandfather:

“It was an honour to be able to remember my great-grandfather, a proud railwayman for our company and his colleagues who gave up their today for our tomorrow. My family have always been incredibly proud of him. Despite not wanting to go, he signed up and embarked for the war twice – the second time knowing the horrors of the war.

“Thanks to the information passed on by my grandmother and the research my father and I have done for many years, we visited his plaque in Ploegsteert, Belgium 18 months ago. He is a hero to our family.”

Arthur was one of over 186,475 railway workers from the UK and Ireland who volunteered and served in World War One. It is claimed that 18,957 of them lost their lives.

Cascaded HST’s to enter service with EMR in early 2020

  • EMR, LNER and Department for Transport have reached an agreement for High-Speed Trains to be cascaded to EMR
  • LNER sets were significantly refurbished in 2016 and offer improved passenger facilities
  • First will arrive with  EMR shortly and due to enter service in early 2020

East Midlands Railway can confirm it will start to temporarily operate a cascaded fleet of High Speed Trains (HST’s) in early 2020.

The fleet will be cascaded from London North Eastern Railway (LNER) following an agreement between EMR, LNER and the Department for Transport.

By the end of 2020, all EMR Intercity services will be delivered by Class 222 and Class 180 trains. These trains meet the PRM-TSI compliance and are significantly more modern than the HST’s which will be removed from the East Midlands franchise.

Working the driver route learner/refresher for the Derby closure, East Midlands Trains Class 222 No. 222102 at Laceyfileds Footbridge, approaching Langley Mill, 5Z02 Derby to Derby. 9th April 2018.

By December 2022, an overall investment of more than £400 million will replace or refurbish all trains on the network, including the introduction of the brand new bi-mode units on EMR Intercity routes.

The current LNER fleet of HST’s was significantly refurbished as recently as 2016 which included new seat covers, tables, carpets and improved toilets.

The cascaded fleet also offers better accessibility and facilities for passengers, including:

  • Passenger toilets with improved accessibility
  • Call for aid facilities
  • Larger wheelchair spaces
  • Priority seating – including moveable armrests
  • At seat power sockets in first and standard class

Further improvement work will also be carried out before entry into service with EMR, including the installation of a new on-board Passenger Information System.

This is a temporary measure, designed to provide the best possible passenger experience, while EMR works to introduce a more modern and improved train fleet, better suited to the needs of the network.

In addition to the cascaded trains, EMR will continue to offer a high-quality passenger assistance programme, ensuring all passengers can travel with ease and will receive the support they require.

East Midlands Trains HST, powered by 43044 & 43089, passing Shipley Gate working 1B23 Leeds to St Pancras International. 16th February 2019.

Chris Wright, Fleet Director, East Midlands Railway, said: 
“By December 2022, we will have replaced our entire train fleet to provide modern and accessible trains better suited to the routes they operate. That work is already well underway but it does not happen overnight.

“The agreement to temporarily use the cascaded HST’s means we can provide a much better service for all passengers travelling on our EMR Intercity services in the short term, while we invest to provide a better service going forward.”