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.”