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East Midlands Railway - Wikipedia

This article is about the current operator of the East Midlands franchise. For the former operator, see East Midlands Trains.

Abellio East Midlands Limited,[1] trading as East Midlands Railway (EMR), is a train operating company in England, owned by Abellio, and is the current operator of the East Midlands franchise.


In March 2017, the Department for Transport announced Arriva, a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, and incumbent Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the next East Midlands franchise.[2] Abellio was added in February 2018.[3]

FirstGroup and Trenitalia pulled out of the bidding process in April 2018 to focus on the West Coast Partnership franchise.[4] In April 2019 the franchise was awarded to Abellio, with East Midlands Railway (EMR) to take over the franchise from East Midlands Trains (EMT) on 18 August 2019 for a period of eight years.[5]

In June 2019, Abellio revealed branding and colour scheme using distinct purple and white colours to reflect the heritage of the East Midlands. It also confirmed it would divide the services into three segments:[6]

In April 2021 it was announced that EMR Electrics would be rebranded as EMR Connect.[7]

Franchise suspension and termination agreement[edit]

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a collapse in revenues in March 2020, the franchise was suspended and replaced by an Emergency Measure Agreement for six months under which the Department for Transport assumed responsibility for all revenues and costs and EMR was paid a management fee.[8] This was superseded by an Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement (ERMA) under which the original franchise agreement was terminated. The franchise will operate until March 2022.[9][10]


Route map of the East Midlands Railway network

EMR operates commuter services from London St Pancras to Corby, as well as intercity services from London St Pancras along the Midland Main Line to Nottingham and Sheffield with limited extensions to Lincoln, Leeds and York. EMR also operate the local East Midlands services and inter regional services to Liverpool and Norwich (Express service). Services from Nottingham to Liverpool Lime Street were to transfer to another operator during the life of the franchise,[11] although following a review by the DfT, this will no longer take place; the service instead being split at Nottingham as intended but remaining with EMR.[12] The Barton line was expected to transfer from Northern in 2019 but this was delayed until May 2021.[13][14]

On 19 June 2021 the EMR Regional Services were cut to enable the timetable to run effectively.[15] Although EMR said that 85% of services were still running, there was still an impact to local commuter services.[16]

Contactless payment card can be used between London St Pancras International and Luton Airport Parkway.

Over the course of the franchise, several planned timetable changes are to be made:[11]

EMR Intercity Route tph Calling at Stock London St Pancras - Nottingham 1 Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester 222 180 1 Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Beeston London St Pancras - Sheffield 1 Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Chesterfield 1 Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield EMR Connect Route tph Calling at Stock London St Pancras - Corby [17] 2 Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering 360 EMR Regional Route tph Calling at Stock Liverpool Lime Street - Norwich 1 Liverpool South Parkway, Widnes, Warrington Central, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Nottingham, Grantham, Peterborough, Ely, Thetford 153



170 Matlock - Nottingham 1 Matlock Bath, Cromford, Whatstandwell, Ambergate, Belper, Duffield, Derby, Spondon, Long Eaton, Attenborough, Beeston Crewe - Newark Castle 1 Alsager, Kidsgrove, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, Longton, Blythe Bridge, Uttoxeter, Tutbury & Hatton, Peartree[a] Derby, Spondon[a] Long Eaton, Beeston, Nottingham, Carlton, Burton Joyce (1tp2h), Thurgarton[a], Bleasby[a], Fiskerton, Rolleston[a] Leicester - Lincoln 1⁄2 Syston, Sileby, Barrow-upon-Soar, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Attenborough, Beeston, Nottingham, Carlton[a], Burton Joyce[a], Lowdham[a], Thurgarton[a], Bleasby[a], Fiskerton[a], Rolleston[a], Newark Castle, Collingham, Swinderby, Hykeham Leicester - Grimsby Town 1⁄2 Syston, Sileby, Barrow-upon-Soar, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Attenborough, Beeston, Nottingham, Carlton[a], Lowdham[a], Fiskerton[a], Rolleston[a], Newark Castle, Collingham, Swinderby, Hykeham, Lincoln, Market Rasen, Barnetby, Habrough

Limited extension to Cleethorpes; only 1-2 trains each way per day. Newark North Gate - Lincoln 1 Collingham, Swinderby, Hykeham Barton-on-Humber - Cleethorpes 1⁄2 Barrow Haven, New Holland, Goxhill, Thornton Abbey, Ulceby, Habrough, Stallingborough, Healing, Great Coates, Grimsby Town, Grimsby Docks, New Clee Nottingham - Skegness 1 Netherfield[a], Radcliffe[a], Bingham, Aslockton[a], Elton & Orston [b], Bottesford, Grantham, Ancaster[a], Rauceby[a], Sleaford, Heckington, Swineshead[a], Hubberts Bridge[a], Boston, Thorpe Culvert[a], Wainfleet, Havenhouse[a] Worksop - Nottingham 1 Whitwell, Creswell, Langwith-Whaley Thorns, Shirebrook, Mansfield Woodhouse, Mansfield, Sutton Parkway, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Newstead[a], Hucknall, Bulwell Mansfield Woodhouse - Nottingham 1 Mansfield, Sutton Parkway, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Newstead, Hucknall, Bulwell[a] Peterborough - Lincoln 1 Spalding, Sleaford, Ruskington, Metheringham

Some trains extend to Doncaster (see below) or Newark North Gate (see above) Peterborough - Doncaster - Spalding, Sleaford, Ruskington, Metheringham, Lincoln, Saxilby[a], Gainsborough Lea Road[a]

Limited service; only 4-5 trains each way per day. Extends, rather than supplements Peterborough-Lincoln

Rolling stock[edit]

East Midlands Railway inherited a fleet of 28 Class 43s, 21 Class 153s, 15 Class 156s, 26 Class 158s, and 27 Class 222s from East Midlands Trains. In January 2020 nine additional Class 156 units from Greater Anglia were introduced into service. Nine 8-carriage InterCity 125 sets were also transferred from London North Eastern Railway, with the first set having entered service on 4 May 2020. They were replaced in May 2021.[18] To replace the ex-Grand Central "buffered" HST sets, EMR commenced a lease of the 4 former Hull Trains Class 180 fleet despite their history of technical difficulties, with the first units entering service on 13 December 2020.[19][20] On 16 May 2021. East Midlands Railway launched EMR Connect services to and from Corby and London St Pancras, which has enabled the final HSTs to be withdrawn.[21] The Connect service is operated by Class 360s. [22][23]

By 2023 East Midlands Railway plans to run EMR Regional services using 40 Class 170s, and plans to run EMR Intercity services using 33 new bi-mode Class 810s by the end of 2023. The new and refurbished trains will provide:[24]

Current fleet[edit]

Future fleet[edit]

Other existing stock to be added will consist of 35 Class 170s; 23 from West Midlands Trains and 12 from Transport for Wales.[26][27] Those altogether will enable the Class 153, Class 156 and Class 158 sets to be withdrawn, although some of the gaps were to be filled in when the Liverpool-Nottingham service was taken over by another operator. This will now not take place, with a proposal made to transfer 15 Class 185 units from TransPennine Express to prevent the shortfall in stock caused by EMR retaining this service.[28] It was expected that 12 Class 171 units would transfer from Southern.[29][30] However due to no replacement units being found it is unlikely this will take place.

To replace the Class 180 and Class 222 units, 33 5-carriage Class 810 bi-mode trains will be introduced in 2023. [31][32] In May 2020, EMR opened a competition to give the class their own unique brand name.[33] In October 2020, EMR announced that the fleet will have the 'Aurora' brand.[34]

Past fleet[edit]

The last of the InterCity 125 sets East Midlands Railway inherited from East Midlands Trains were withdrawn in December 2020, being replaced by five ex LNER InterCity 125 sets which were more compliant with new regulations and four Class 180s.[39] Originally nine former LNER High Speed Train sets were to replace a similar number of sets inherited from East Midlands Trains. However after the carriages were found to require more repairs than originally envisaged, this was cut back to five sets.[40]


EMR operates two depots; Derby Etches Park and Nottingham Eastcroft.[52] The Class 360s are maintained at Bedford Cauldwell Walk depot by Siemens Mobility.[53]


External links[edit]