18 Aug 2019 – 21 Aug 2027
|Main region(s)||East Midlands|
North West England
|Other region(s)||East of England|
|Predecessor||East Midlands Trains|
In March 2017, the Department for Transport announced Arriva, a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, and incumbent Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the next East Midlands franchise. Abellio was added in February 2018.
FirstGroup and Trenitalia pulled out of the bidding process in April 2018 to focus on the West Coast Partnership franchise. In April 2019 the franchise was awarded to Abellio, with East Midlands Railway (EMR) to take over the franchise from East Midlands Trains (EMT) on 18 August 2019 for a period of eight years.
In June 2019, Abellio revealed branding and colour scheme using distinct purple and white colours to reflect the heritage of the East Midlands. It also confirmed it would divide the services into three segments:
- EMR Intercity for long-distance services from London St Pancras
- EMR Regional for services across the East Midlands
- EMR Electrics for the outer suburban London St Pancras to Corby service
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EMR operates commuter services from London St Pancras to Corby, as well as intercity services from London St Pancras along the Midland Main Line to Nottingham and Sheffield with limited extensions to Lincoln, Leeds, York and Scarborough. EMR also operate the local East Midlands services and inter regional services to Liverpool and Norwich (Express service). Services from Nottingham to Liverpool Lime Street were to transfer to another operator during the life of the franchise, although following a review by the DfT, this will no longer take place; the service instead being split at Nottingham as intended but remaining with EMR. The Barton line was expected to transfer from Northern in 2019, but this has been delayed.
Over the course of the franchise, several planned timetable changes are to be made:
- Earlier and later trains between Sheffield and Nottingham to East Midlands Parkway
- Earlier and later trains between Sheffield and London St Pancras and more regular evening service to London St Pancras
- 2 trains per hour between Nottingham and Kettering
- 2 trains per hour between Corby and London St Pancras
- Regular Sunday service between Corby and London St Pancras
- Liverpool to Norwich split at Nottingham
- Norwich to Nottingham extended to Derby
- Regular hourly Sunday service between Norwich and Derby
- Crewe to Derby service extended to Nottingham and hourly service on Sundays
- Hourly Sunday service between Matlock and Nottingham
- Hourly service between Nottingham and Grimsby Town with limited extension to Cleethorpes
- Hourly Sunday service between Lincoln and Grimsby Town
- Hourly service between Nottingham and Newark Castle
- Hourly Sunday service between Worksop and Nottingham and later evening services on weekdays
- Additional peak services between Nottingham and Grantham
- Earlier and later trains between Nottingham and Boston
- Later evening service on weekdays and a new Sunday service
- Hourly through service between Doncaster and Peterborough via Lincoln
- New Sunday service between Doncaster and Lincoln
- Enhanced Sunday service on Barton to Cleethorpes route
- 2 trains per day between Lincoln and London St Pancras
- Newark Northgate to Grimsby Town service cut back to Lincoln except to for the limited extension to Cleethorpes and timed to run with LNER's London Kings Cross - Lincoln service
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East Midlands Railway inherited a fleet of 28 Class 43s, 21 Class 153s, 15 Class 156s, 26 Class 158s, and 27 Class 222s from East Midlands Trains. In January 2020 nine additional Class 156 units from Greater Anglia were introduced into service. This allowed 18 Class 153 units to be withdraw from service. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic four Class 153 units were brought back into service to help with social distancing. Nine 8-carriage InterCity 125 sets have also been transferred from London North Eastern Railway, with the first set having entered service on 4 May 2020.
By the end of 2022 East Midlands Railway plans to run EMR Intercity services using 33 new bi-mode Class 810s, EMR Electric services using 21 refurbished Class 360s, and EMR Regional services using 40 Class 170s. East Midlands Railway will become the largest operator of Class 170s. The new and refurbished trains will provide:
- a more reliable service
- improved comfort
- passenger information system displays
- free on-board Wi-Fi
- at-seat power sockets
- USB points
- air conditioning
- tables at all seats
- increased luggage space
|Trainset||Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Number||Cars||Routes Operated and Notes:||Built|
|InterCity 125||43||Loco||125||200||3||6 or 8||1976–82|
|Bombardier Voyager||222 Meridian||DEMU||125||200||4||4||2003–05|
|Sprinter||153 Super Sprinter||DMU||75||120||11||1||
|156 Super Sprinter||24||2||
|158/0 Express Sprinter||90||145||26||2||
Existing stock to be added will consist of 21 Class 360s from Greater Anglia, 28 Class 170s (5 from Abellio ScotRail and 23 from West Midlands Trains), 12 Class 171s from Southern (which will be converted back to Class 170s) and 4 Class 180s from Hull Trains. Those altogether will enable the High Speed Trains, Class 153, Class 156 and Class 158 sets to be withdrawn, although some of the gaps were to be filled in when Liverpool-Nottingham service was taken over by another operator. This will now not take place, with a proposal made to transfer 15 Class 185 units from TransPennine Express to prevent the shortfall in stock caused by EMR retaining this service.  The Class 360 will be introduced as a result of the electrification of the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Corby and will displace Class 222 from London-Corby services. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the electrification between Bedford and Corby has been delayed and the Class 360s are now expected to enter service in May 2021 instead of December 2020. The 222s will then work on other InterCity Routes where they will replace the HSTs, working alongside the Class 180s. The Class 180s intend to replace the ex-Grand Central 6 carriage HSTs from December 2020. 
|Trainset||Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Number||Cars||Routes Operated||In Service|
|Alstom Coradia||180 Adelante||DMU||125||200||4||5||2020|
To be converted from ex-Southern Class 171s
As of July 2020, 10 Class 153s have been withdrawn from EMR's regional fleet, 4 were transferred to Transport for Wales, whilst the remaining 6 units went into storage. 18 Class 153s will be replaced by the 9 Class 156s transferred from Greater Anglia. However, some units have been brought back into service to help with social distancing on services. As of September 2020, 13 Class 43s have gone into storage, 3 were transferred to Locomotive Services Limited, and 3 were transferred to D.A.T.S Ltd after being replaced by the ex-LNER Class 43s.
|Trainset||Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Number||Cars||Routes||Transferred to||Withdrawn|
|InterCity 125||43||Loco||125||200||19||N/A||Storage (13)
D.A.T.S Ltd (3)
|Sprinter||153 Super Sprinter||DMU||75||120||10||1||
||Transport for Wales (4)
Storage off-lease (6)
- Three prequalify for next East Midlands franchise Railway Gazette International 1 March 2017
- Abellio joins East Midlands franchise shortlist Railway Gazette International 6 February 2018
- First Group and Trenitalia pull out of East Midlands franchise contest International Railway Journal 23 April 2018
- More seats, services and state-of-the-art trains for passengers on new East Midlands railway Department for Transport 10 April 2019
- Pegden, Tom. "How Midland Mainline trains will soon look". Leicester Mercury. Reach plc. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
- East Midlands Rail Franchise Department for Transport
- East Midlands rail franchise consultation Department for Transport
- Clinnick, Richard. "Cascaded LNER HSTs to plug the gap in East Midlands fleet". Rail. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
- First EMR HST replacement in service next week Railway Herald Issue 673 22 January 2020 page 8
- Brown, Doc. "08 Train". DocBrown. Phil Brown. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- Clinnick, Richard. "Progress on new train fleets continues". RAIL. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Hitachi rumoured to have won EMR bi-mode deal Rail issue 884 31 July 2019 page 28
- East Midlands Railway unveils new look Today's Railways UK issue 212 August 2019 page 13
- EMR Regional Fleet in the future
- EMR Bi-Mode Specification Confirmed Modern Railways issue 856 January 2020 page 19
- "Abellio invests £400 million in new Hitachi trains for East Midlands Railway". 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- Abellio orders East Midlands inter-city fleet Railway Gazette International 30 July 2019
- Pritchard, Robert, ed. (September 2019). "Hitachi Scoops Order for East Midlands". Today's Railways. No. 213. Sheffield: Platform 5. p. 6. ISSN 1475-9713.
- 170630-170635 formerly in 3 car formation
- A New Era for the East Midlands as Abellio starts its fifth franchise Today's Railways UK issue 214 October 2019 pages 24-26
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abellio East Midlands Railway.|
East Midlands Trains
| Operator of East Midlands franchise