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What would you do if you had 14 minutes extra to spare each morning or evening? – iron four shirts? Fry a few eggs? Sleep a little longer? East Midlands Trains staff at Sheffield today enacted something far more amusing to launch their new 14-minute faster services to London.
This morning (Monday 15 December) Sheffield Utd Manager Kevin Blackwell simultaneously dispatched the 09.27 extra fast train to London whilst launching a 14 minute mini madcap musical marathon around Sheffield railway station:
Whilst a band played “Keep on Running,” the staff, dressed as runners, sprinted around the station awarding as many passengers and bystanders with huge chocolate olympic-style medals as they could in 14 minutes. They estimate that almost 300 were given away in the allocated time.
Kevin Blackwell, who was donating an appearance fee to charity, said:
“In my job speed is of the essence. You have to be fast if you’re going to beat the opposition. A Sheffield United footballer in training could probably run about two and a half miles in 14 minutes, but unfortunately he would not be rewarded with chocolate! This is a fun way to highlight the reduction in journey times and to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and use public transport.”
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains says:
“Fourteen minutes is quite a time saving, particularly if you’re travelling everyday to London. In a week you could save two and a half hours. From today we’re providing shorter journeys times on all Sheffield – London trains, not just a peak times but every hour throughout the day.”
“Cutting these journey times is our passengers’ most eagerly awaited improvements and will significantly boost the economic competitiveness of the Sheffield city region.”
“At East Midlands Trains, our aim is to be the first choice for travel from Sheffield to London and our new timetable will offer more choice, more seats and bring even more passengers onto the trains”.
Most journey times between Sheffield and London will be slashed to 2 hours and 7 minutes, not just during the peak travelling times, but at every hour throughout the day. Previously, a typical off peak journey time between Sheffield and London has been 2 hours and 21 minutes.
East Midlands Trains will also continue to operate its popular named premier business train to London, ‘The Master Cutler’, but will also be running a further two named prestigious business services from Sheffield (these trains have been named by passengers and staff and signify East Midlands Trains commitment to Sheffield’s heritage). In addition to the hourly fast services, we will also be running the following additional new business trains:
These new services will provide business travellers from Sheffield with a wider choice of arrival times into London. A full breakfast service will be available to First Class passengers on both new services.
Evening services from London have also been improved with a new fast evening service from London to Sheffield at 17.55, arriving into Sheffield at 20.04, to offer business travellers a significantly quicker option to get back home at the end of the day. (The current equivalent service departs London at 17.30 to arrive back in Sheffield at 20.02).
As a result of passenger feedback, the new timetable also offers an earlier and later train from Sheffield to London on Sundays – the first train will leave at 09.17 instead of 10.08, and the last train will leave at 20.16 instead of 19.26, allowing passengers an opportunity to spend more time in the Capital. In addition, journey times will be significantly reduced from 2 hours and 55 minutes to 2 hours and 35 minutes.
The majority of East Midlands Trains services between Sheffield and London will be operated by the company’s most modern trains. The Meridian trains offer power points for laptop, mobile phone charging or even MP3 players and provide a great environment for those who want to work or even relax on the move.