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East Midlands Trains is celebrating its fourth birthday today (Friday 11 November) by announcing a package of four new passenger improvements to be delivered by the end of the year.
The train company, which took over the East Midlands franchise in November 2007, has already made many improvements for passengers, including significant investment in the refurbishment of stations and rolling stock as well as the delivery of customer service and passenger information improvements.
The company is the best performing long distance rail operator in the UK and its punctuality and customer satisfaction results are both above the national average.
Now, as it reaches its fourth birthday, East Midlands Trains has highlighted even more for its customers to look forward to over the next couple of months.
The latest improvements being rolled out include:
1) Additional seats on the Liverpool- Norwich line Following a successful agreement with the Department for Transport, East Midlands Trains has secured an additional four trains which will provide extra seats on the busy Nottingham to Liverpool route. Two of the trains are already being used to strengthen four key services throughout the day to run as four-carriage trains, with the remainder of additional seats being introduced in time for the launch of the new timetable from Sunday 11 December.
2) New solar powered passenger help-points As part of the rail operator’s commitment to providing improved information for passengers, new environmentally friendly, solar-powered help-points have now been installed at 29 stations on the East Midlands Trains’ network. The new help-points will provide improved information to passengers travelling from Alsager, Attenborough, Beeston, Blythe Bridge, Boston, Bottesford, Creswell, Fiskerton, Hinckley, Kidsgrove, Langley Mill, Langwith Whaley-Thorn, Long Eaton, Longton, Mansfield, Matlock, Melton Mowbray, Newark Castle, Newstead, Oakham, Shirebrook, Sileby, Sleaford, Spalding,Stamford, Syston, Uttoxeter, Wainfleet and Whitwell.
3) Smarter travel A new innovative smartcard scheme is being introduced to help making travelling with East Midlands Trains even easier. The new StagecoachSmart scheme will allow East Midlands Trains passengers to store their train tickets on an electronic card instead of a paper ticket. Shaped like a plastic credit card, StagecoachSmart travel cards can store various ticket types including Season Tickets. Smartcard readers have already been installed at 25 stations across the East Midlands Trains network* and the company is currently carrying out technical trials involving some season ticket holders. The smartcard scheme will be rolled out to more East Midlands Trains passengers very soon.
4) Completion of the £6 million Meridian train makeover December will mark the completion of a £6 million investment by East Midlands Trains to completely refurbish its fleet of 27 Meridian trains. Operating on services from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Loughborough and Lincoln, these new-look trains feature added passenger benefits such as luxury leather seats in First Class, new carpets and seat covers throughout as well as additional luggage space and a new space for buggies.
David Horne, East Midlands Trains’ new Managing Director, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be celebrating our fourth birthday with four more great improvements for passengers.
“Over the last four years, we’ve worked very hard to ensure our passengers benefit from some significant changes to our trains and stations, and we are continuing to invest to make further improvements.
“Today is more than just a celebration of a successful four years, it’s also about looking to the future and letting passengers know there’s still lots more to come!”
East Midlands Trains is currently investing over £40 million to improve services for passengers on its route. All trains are being completely refurbished, and stations are benefitting from improved customer information, new and refurbished facilities including toilets, waiting rooms and waiting shelters, and additional car parking and cycle spaces.
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