Dutch firm Abellio takes over East Midlands rail franchise

East Midlands Railway trains
Image caption Old East Midlands Trains had been rebranded with East Midlands Railways (EMR) stamps

Dutch-owned firm Abellio has taken over the East Midlands rail franchise, promising £600m of funding.

It gained the eight-year contract after Stagecoach was once disqualified from bidding because it refused to tackle pension liabilities.

Abellio, owned via the Dutch government-owned rail firm, has promised new trains, 165 new carriages, and progressed infrastructure.

East Midlands Trains will now be known as East Midlands Railway (EMR).

The rail franchise have been operated via Stagecoach since 2007.

The corporate – owned via the state-owned operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen – already operates 5 different rail franchises, together with Scotrail and Greater Anglia products and services between Norwich and London.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The-now defunct East Midlands Trains operated the provider from 2007

Part of Abellio’s funding will come with an entire overhaul of the rail inventory, with new high-speed Hitachi intercity rail trains.

It mentioned £400m could be spent on 33 five-carriage trains, which can come with air-con, wireless and plug sockets for passengers.

The new intercity trains will start serving towns and cities like Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Leicester, London, and Lincoln via 2022.

Abellio managing director Dominic Booth mentioned: “[The new trains] will respond to what our passengers have told us they want with more frequent services, faster journeys between the East Midlands and London, and provide more capacity.”

‘Believe it after I see it’

Vicky Henry travels from Nottingham to London about 8 occasions a yr.

She mentioned: “I’ll believe [the investment] it when I see it. They always talk about investing money but the whole set-up of the network means any improvements come from the state, not the individual train operators.”

One day-to-day commuter from Burton-upon-Trent to Nottingham mentioned: “Recently there were a large number of delays and cancellations so I’m no longer in particular proud of the provider.

“The funding is indisputably welcome, and expectantly the delays can also be both stopped or lowered so the trains can run somewhat higher.”

Image caption Sophie Harrison mentioned products and services from Melton Mowbray and Leicester will have to be extra common

Sophie Harrison continuously travels between Nottingham and Leicestershire.

The Nottingham Trent University scholar mentioned: “New trains will make the railways extra user-friendly, particularly if there are extra products and services.”

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