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East Midlands Trains—the new train company for the East Midlands and South Yorkshire—is celebrating the launch of its franchise.
The company, run by Stagecoach Group, started its seven-year-and-four-month franchise on 11 November at 2am.
It is made up of all of the existing main line train services running to London St Pancras International, from Chesterfield, Derby, Leicester, Loughborough, Market Harborough, Nottingham, Sheffield and Lincoln, as well as regional rail services in the East Midlands area and inter-regional services between Norwich and Liverpool.
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “We are really looking forward to getting stuck into what we do best—running a railway of which both our passengers and employees can be proud.
“Between June, when the Department for Transport announced we had been awarded the franchise, and today, we have been working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready to ensure that day one goes as smoothly as possible.
“I would like to thank everyone who has got us this far and look forward to working with them in the future to make this franchise a success.”
Tim and his team hosted a launch event on 12 November at Nottingham and Derby train stations, where stakeholder guests saw the first train in its new livery and travelled on it to the newly refurbished London St Pancras International station.
Highlights of improvements include faster journey times from Sheffield and Leicester to London from 2008, better performance, more seats, train refurbishment, investment at Derby’s Etches Park train maintenance depot, a centralized information and security centre, more car parking spaces, two new stations at East Midlands Parkway and Corby, and new links to Europe in partnership with Eurostar.