A new dawn! East Midlands Railway new Intercity fleet to be named Aurora

East Midlands Railway’s new Intercity fleet will be known as Aurora after the name was chosen from more than 2,000 competition entries.

The Aurora fleet includes Japanese bullet-train technology and will provide fast, comfortable and state-of-the-art journeys between London, Sheffield and Nottingham from 2023.  

Aurora appealed to the judges who were won over by the name’s two meanings which mirror the ethos and technological advancements of the new trains.

Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of the dawn, representing the new start Aurora provides for the railway serving the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. It is also inspired by the Northern Lights, created by the transfer of the sun’s solar energy – matching Aurora’s ability to run under electric power.

The new state of the art Aurora trains, are financed by Rock Rail East Midlands and will be built by Hitachi Rail UK in County Durham. They have the ability to run using electric overhead lines wherever possible, taking advantage of the £1.5 billion Midland Main Line Upgrade and will ultimately replace the diesel train fleet. 

As a result, they are quieter and greener, meaning lower carbon emissions and a better environment for passengers, stations and communities along the route. Passengers will also see major improvements, including more seats and fresh, modern interiors alongside air conditioning, free WiFi, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.

Construction is due to start later this year with the first units due to start Main Line testing in mid-2022, with the first entry into passenger service due in early 2023. 

Will Rogers, Managing Director at East Midlands Railway, said everyone at the company was delighted with the reaction of the public to the competition.  

He said: “It’s fantastic to see the level of excitement that surrounds the introduction of the Aurora fleet to the region. We love the winning name as it really fits the project and its aim to bring a new start for the Midland Main Line and our passengers.

“We know our passengers are looking forward to the introduction of the Aurora fleet and the modern, comfortable and greener journeys they will provide.”

Jim Brewin, UK Country Lead, Hitachi Rail, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a high level of engagement in East Midlands Railway’s competition to name the new fleet. The ‘Aurora’ is a brilliant winning name, and well suited to the fleet that is being delivered – the latest model of our new intercity trains.

“The new trains will benefit 65 suppliers across the UK including a number in the East Midlands and will be built at our factory in County Durham, supporting hundreds of jobs in the region. We look forward to delivering the Aurora Fleet, providing fast, efficient and environmentally friendly journeys for its passengers.”

Mark Swindell, CEO Rock Rail and Director Rock Rail East Midlands, said “Rock is delighted that the new and aptly named Aurora fleet is set to transform the journeys for passengers along the routes between London, Sheffield and Nottingham.

“Together with our institutional investor partners we are committed to supporting more sustainable travel and the Aurora’s greener credentials will help the UK’s drive towards reducing carbon and other harmful emissions.”

Four EMR stations make shortlist in public vote to find Britain’s favourite railway station

Four East Midlands Railway stations have made it through to the finals in the World Cup of Stations. Leicester, Nottingham, Bottesford and Spalding will battle it out on Twitter this week to secure their place in the final on Friday 16th October.

Spalding

With sports fans having been denied their usual fix during much of the COVID 19 pandemic, the World Cup of Stations, returning for its second year, will give EMR passengers a chance to cheer on their local station as it competes in the top-flight of social media polling.

The national competition is organised by the Rail Delivery Group, who represent train operators and the wider rail industry and will see 48 stations large and small representing each region of the country competing in a series of online polls starting today.

Leicester

Regional and national heats are sure to stoke rivalries. By Friday, the competition will have been whittled down to a final four with one of Britain’s 2,579 railway stations named the nation’s favourite on Friday evening.

The competition comes as stations up and down the country welcome more people back to the railway supporting communities and local businesses as Britain continues to learn to live with COVID-19. Station staff are working hard to ensure stations can play their full role supporting Britain’s recovery from COVID, keeping people connected and boosting regional economies.

Leicester and Nottingham are two of EMR’s largest stations, providing EMR Intercity services to and from London St Pancras International. Bottesford and Spalding may be smaller regional stations but they are important parts of their local community and well cared for by their station adopters.

Bottesford

Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director for EMR said: “We are delighted that four of our stations have made it to through to the finals of the World Cup of Stations.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Team EMR has worked tirelessly to keep services running and make our environments safe for passengers and colleagues. 

“We encourage our passengers to vote for their local station through our social media channels.”

Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group, which is organising the competition said,

“The World Cup of Stations is about celebrating the thousands of stations across the country many of which have been at the heart of their communities for more than a century. It’s also about recognising the friendly local faces who have kept key workers moving throughout the pandemic. As Britain gets moving again, their role in supporting local businesses and spreading opportunity is more important than ever.”

Railcam to celebrate Midland Mainline HSTs with #HSTonMML

**POSTPONED**

© @HiPa_IC125_

Who doesn’t love a HST? No, I didn’t think there would be many hands raised to that question. Well, this Saturday, 3rd October, Railcam will be celebrating the iconic High Speed Train. We plan to head out to the Midland Mainline, between Leicester and Derby/Nottingham to feature a number of live streams of these famous beasts in action via our YouTube channel.

We also plan to feature live photos across our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, but we need your help! Throughout the day we would like to see your own historical photos of HSTs working on the Midland Mainline, alongside the hashtag #HSTonMML.

Along with the hashtag, we would also ask that you tag Railcam, East Midlands Railway and We are EMR across any of the platforms you choose to post to. We will like and share as many as we can throughout the day.

That’s it, it’s that simple……

Despite the wet forecast, we still plan to head out and cover as much as we possibly can. With that in mind, here are the scheduled* HST workings for Saturday 3rd October (* Subject to change)

SET 1 – 5B23, 1B23, 1D28, 1B48, 1D53, 1B73, 1F77, 5F77.

SET 2 – 5B28, 1B28, 1D33, 1B53, 1D58, 1B78, 1D81, 5D81.

SET 3 – 5D13, 1D13, 1B33, 1D38, 1B58, 1D63, 5D63.

SET 4 – 5B13, 1B13, 1D18, 1B38, 1D43, 1B63, 1D68, 5D68.

SET 5 – 5B18, 1B18, 1D23, 1B43, 1D48, 1B68, 1F70, 5F70.

You will be able to track the movements of all of these services on the day by using our RC Data tab on the Railcam website. Type the headcode in the appropriate search box. Allocations can also be added, along with set and coach information.

Note. We are not encouraging gatherings of enthusiasts and we urge that social distancing measures are still followed, when travelling and on stations.