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A package of funding has been secured by East Midlands Trains which will bring significant improvements to its busy Liverpool-Norwich route from May 2011.
The funding, which has been agreed with the Department for Transport, will enable East Midlands Trains to lease four additional Class 156 trains from May 2011. These extra trains will be used on services between Nottingham and Skegness, and from Lincoln to Leicester. This will allow a number of refurbished Class 158 trains to be cascaded to strengthen services on the busiest section of East Midlands Trains’ Liverpool to Norwich route.
Therefore, from May 2011 an additional 10 services every weekday will be strengthened between Nottingham and Liverpool from 2-car to 4-car trains, providing an additional 1,500 seats a day.
In addition, and following passenger and stakeholder feedback, the 13.52 Liverpool to Nottingham service will be extended to Norwich, and the 05.50 Norwich to Liverpool service will operate as a four-car train throughout, providing much needed additional capacity for this busy commuter service.
David Horne, Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains: “This is fantastic news for our passengers and brings a successful conclusion to almost two years of partnership working with stakeholder groups along the route to secure these improvements.
“We have been determined to increase capacity on our busy Liverpool to Norwich route, a route which covers some 250 miles and serves cities with a combined population of more than 7 million people. The additional funding secured will allow us to provide over 1,500 extra seats on the route every day from 2011 and will go a long way to alleviating the current overcrowding on many services. The extra capacity will also enable us to increase the number of discounted tickets we offer on off-peak trains on the route.
“We would like to thank our passengers and stakeholders for their steadfast support in helping us to bring about these improvements.”
The four additional Class 156 trains are currently in use on Northern services and are due to be transferred to East Midlands Trains in May 2011. The funding includes a cosmetic refresh and investment to improve the performance of the trains.
Passengers will see further benefits from December 2012, with East Midlands Trains planning to operate all services between Nottingham and Liverpool as four-car trains.