Contract extended for firm which runs trains from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough

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Stagecoach will continue to run trains from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough until at least August.

The firm’s East Midlands Trains franchise is due to end on March 2, with a new long-term contract due to start in August.

Railway Gazette reports Stagecoach, Abellio and Arriva have been invited to tender for the next contract, which will run until August 2027.

To bridge the gap between contracts the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed a new short-term five month franchise with Stagecoach, who have run trains on the line for 11 years.

Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach Group, said: “We are pleased to have been given the opportunity by the DfT to extend our successful tenure of the East Midlands Trains franchise until at least August.

“We are very proud of the improvements we have delivered for our customers and our people over the past 11 years, and we look forward to continuing this successful track record.”

Under the new agreement, East Midlands Trains will continue to support the delivery of the £1.5bn Midland Main Line upgrade to improve capacity and reduce journey times.

They say there will be a continuation of the investment programme to improve stations and trains, with a roll out of smart ticketing in March 2019 as part of the wider programme on National Rail.

They added that East Midlands Trains will be focused on ensuring readiness for the subsequent franchise that is currently being tendered by the DfT, including helping to put in place plans for extra seats from 2020.

The commercial terms of the new contract are similar to other recently let direct award contracts and include profit share arrangements with the DfT.