EMR celebrates the iconic HSTs with farewell documentary

  • EMR have collaborated with AV IT Media to share the HST story
  • Documentary features archive footage, stunning new imagery and interviews with numerous EMR colleagues who have worked on and with these iconic machines
  • HSTs will remain an iconic piece of British engineering and a much-loved part of the railway
  • One-off bespoke items to commemorate the HST will also shortly be available to purchase

For many people, HSTs are so much more than just trains – they’re part of the railway family, that’s why EMR have teamed up with AV IT Media to produce a one-off documentary, featuring a range of colleagues who have worked with these trains as well as telling the story of how they have changed over their decades of service.

These much-loved trains retired on Saturday 15th May after 39 years of service on the Midland Main Line. EMR was determined to recognise this historic moment and provide the opportunity for people to speak about what the HSTs mean to them, and how they impacted on their career and lives on the railway.

Click below to view the full documentary ‘End of the line – A HST story’ (approx. 24 minutes). It can also be viewed through the EMR YouTube channel from today (Monday 24th May).

Will Rogers, Managing Director for EMR, said: “To this day, the HST remains an iconic piece of British engineering and a much-loved part of the railway. We wanted to celebrate the HSTs, in tribute to the people who have worked on them and loved them throughout their career. A documentary is the perfect way for us at EMR to say goodbye and wish the trains a happy retirement, we hope our customers enjoy watching it too.”

Neil Bamford, Fleet Director for EMR, said: “We were incredibly sad to see the HSTs go, we know this is the “end of an era” not just for our colleagues, but for enthusiasts who have followed the journey of our HSTs through the years. For many, they are much more than just a train. They’ve become a fundamental part of people’s lives.”

The documentary will remain a permanent tribute to the HST and will be freely available online for everyone to view in their own time

EMR is also going further and producing a range of bespoke items for anyone to purchase over the coming weeks and months.

EMR have also teamed up with ‘Brixes’ to create a limited edition ‘build your own HST,’ exclusively EMR purple livery. These will be available to purchase by the general public from July 2021. There is a limited quantity of these items available so any HST fans will need to be quick to purchase.

EMR have also created limited-edition farewell pin badges that will also be available to purchase on the website soon https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/

The people who were unable to be part of the documentary shared their memories as part of a memorabilia book, which has been issued to EMR staff as a lasting memento of these iconic trains.

To view a copy of our memorabilia book in electronic form, please click here: https://issuu.com/emr_ic/docs/emr_hst_memorabilia_book_e-version

Introducing EMR Connect – more seats and a simpler timetable on our greenest ever fleet

©East Midlans Railway
  • EMR Connect – the new electric train service between Corby and London St Pancras
  • Provides more seats and services every 30 minutes
  • Electric trains are quieter and kinder to the environment
  • Launches Sunday, 16 May

East Midlands Railway (EMR) will launch its new all-electric service between Corby and London St Pancras later this month.

EMR Connect, is the company’s first electric route, reducing carbon emissions by 77% and lowering noise levels for lineside neighbours. It also provides EMR’s sixth train to and from London every hour, up from the current five.

The new timetable is made possible by the successful delivery of the £1.5 billion Midland Main Line Upgrade by Network Rail, which includes new overhead line equipment between Bedford and Corby, as well as an additional track between Kettering and Corby.  

EMR Connect will be comprised of eight carriage electric trains serving Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton & Luton Airport Parkway every 30 minutes on weekdays from 06:00.

Services on Sunday afternoon will also be significantly improved, with a full weekday timetable running after 14:00 – providing better access to and from London and the East Midlands.

It will provide more seats for passengers across the region – with further late night and early morning services – and will allow the reintroduction of peak services between Wellingborough and Bedford, meaning passengers will not need to use the replacement coach service.

The trains which will operate EMR Connect are known as Class 360’s. EMR had hoped to refurbish a number of these trains before they entered service. However, as a result of delays caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, that has unfortunately not been possible. EMR is fully committed to refurbish these trains as swiftly as possible and will share more information on this programme soon.

Passengers wanting to use EMR’s Intercity service north of Kettering will be able to make a northbound connection, twice an hour at the same times, every hour, and with coordinated interchange times, the total journey time to Leicester and Nottingham remain the same as today.

©East Midlands Railway

Will Rogers, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway, said: “We are delighted to be able to introduce our new all-electric EMR Connect service for our passengers travelling between Corby and London St Pancras.

“Not only will EMR Connect enable a significant reduction in carbon emissions and noise levels, it will also provide more seats, later services and more frequent journeys helping to support the communities and businesses of the region.”

EMR Connect will transform the services in the region including the following changes:

Corby

  • More than doubles the current number of services to and from London
  • Providing thousands of additional seats every day and increases the number of trains arriving into London before 9am from one to six
  • Last direct service back from London is now four hours later – making it easier to visit London or meet friends

Wellingborough

  • Average journey time remains comfortably under 60 minutes with a more consistent timetable with services in both directions every 30 minutes
  • First train arrives into London approximately 20 minutes earlier than today
  • A limited EMR Intercity service will operate in the morning and evening to provide direct journeys to and from Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield
  • Wellingborough passengers travelling to/from Nottingham at other times of the day will need to change at Kettering, however connection times are generally under 10 minutes, retaining current journey times in the vast majority of instances

Bedford

  • Reintroduced EMR peak time services and a consistent timetable with services in both directions every 30 minutes
  • Journeys to and from London will take approximately 41 minutes
  • Peak time bus between Wellingborough and Bedford replaced by train services every 30 minutes
  • A limited EMR Intercity service will operate in the morning and evening to provide direct journeys to Nottingham and Leicester
  • Bedford passengers travelling to/from Nottingham at other times of the day will need to change at Kettering, however connection times are generally under 10 minutes, retaining current journey times in the vast majority of instances

Luton

  • Reintroduction of EMR peak time services for Luton with services in both directions every 30 minutes
  • Journeys to and from London St Pancras will take approximately 25 minutes
  • Bedford passengers travelling to/from Nottingham will need to change at Kettering, however connection times are generally under 10 minutes, retaining current journey times in the vast majority of instances

Luton Airport Parkway

  • Non-stop services form London St Pancras International, every 30 minutes
  • A consistent timetable with services in both directions from 06:00 with journeys to and from London taking just over 20 minutes.
  • When complete, the new DART service will provide a rail link from Luton Airport Parkway to the airport terminal

Look out for the East Midlands Railway Class 360 on our Bedford and Flitwick cameras, let’s see your screen captures #SawItOnRailcam

Midland Mainline Memories – Railcam salutes the iconic HST

The final mainline HST service into London is coming to an end with the launch of the May timetable changes, and we couldn’t let this pass without covering social media with your #MMLMemories.

©Jamie Rowley

The HST has been a mainstay on the Midland Mainline for years, operating to/from St Pancras to the East Midlands, and with the May timetable changes we will be waving goodbye to this icon of high speed train travel in the UK from the Midland Mainline.

©Jamie Rowley

Saturday May 15th will be the final day of HST running on the Midland Mainline, and from now until then we want to see your memories of the mighty Midland Mainline HSTs. There have been some wonderful liveries over the years, perhaps some of the best the HST has ever carried, and we would love to see those over the next couple of weeks…..

©Jamie Rowley

Simply share your photos on social media platforms, (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) using the hashtags #MMLMemories and #HSTonMML, whilst tagging Railcam in your posts (Hey, why not tag East Midlands Railway, WeareEMR and the 125 Group while you’re at it) and lets see as much HST as we can!

©Jamie Rowley

East Midlands Railways unveils newly designed seats for state-of-the-art Aurora fleet

  • Completely unique seats offering enhanced comfort 
  • Seats easier to clean, maintain and more durable 
  • Every passenger has access to power and USB point

Passengers travelling on East Midlands Railway’s (EMR) Aurora trains will be able to sit back and relax thanks to unique seats specifically designed for the company’s new fleet.

Working closely with Derby-based design firm DGDESIGN, EMR has taken the proven product of a FISA Lean seat and refined it to offer enhanced comfort and support. It has also improved the appearance to match what they believe customers expect from an InterCity service seat.

The seat rework has included increasing the size of cushions, headrests and armrests and making sure that high quality durable materials are used throughout, such as a wool-rich moquette and leather.

At the same time, EMR has also ensured the seats include all the practical and technological features that customers require, such as power and USB points, generous legroom, coat hooks , well-sized seat-back tables for all airline seats and space to stow a cabin-bag under each seat.

Rachel Turner, Head of New Trains at East Midlands Railway, said: “We know the FISA seat has a good level of comfort, but we wanted to further enhance this by providing additional support in key areas, developing something that looks comfortable, inviting, and unique to EMR. All this has been done whilst ensuring we still meet the latest seat safety standards.

“Our customers are used to large comfortable seats, as found in our Meridian trains, so we wanted to maintain this character but go even further.

“It has taken a lot of work but we are delighted with the final product, not only are they comfortable to sit in and look refined, but they are also easy to keep clean and include all the features passengers should expect from a new generation of trains.”

David Gordon, Director at DGDESIGN, said: “After safety and punctuality, seat comfort is probably the most important customer requirement and therefore a key focus for our interior design work, with every effort being made to optimise the at-seat experience by further enhancing an already proven seat system.

“Headrests have improved lateral support for added comfort and privacy, cushions have been widened, armrests are softer and deeper, additional privacy screening has been introduced and upholstery detailing has been refined to improve aesthetics and cleanability.”  

EMR’s new InterCity fleet, which will be able to run on electricity and diesel, will be built by Hitachi Rail in County Durham and financed by Rock Rail East Midlands.

Mike Kean, Chief Originations Officer at Rock Rail, said “Comfortable seating plays a key part in delivering great passenger travelling experiences. We are delighted that the new Aurora seats will help transform passenger journeys together with the many other improved passenger, operational and environmental features of this state-of-the-art fleet.”

Amy Webb, Head of Programmes – Commuter, Hitachi Rail, said: “Hitachi is excited to be working with EMR to deliver the new Aurora Fleet for its passengers. As today’s announcement underlines, Aurora passengers can expect to benefit from a comfortable journey, with more capacity and a new, modern interior.

“The manufacturing of the trains is also benefiting over 75 suppliers across the UK – a number that will continue to rise – and will also support hundreds of jobs at Hitachi Rail’s factory in County Durham.”

When it enters service in 2023, Aurora will offer significant advances on the existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors.

The trains will also include features that passengers have said they want to see, including air conditioning, free WiFi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.