East Midlands Railway promises more seats and faster trains with £400m investment in new fleet

The new Japanese bullet style trains will operate on the Midland Main Line from 2022
The new Japanese bullet style trains will operate on the Midland Main Line from 2022

New Japanese bullet-style trains with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi will run on the Midland Main Line as part of an ambitious programme which includes more services.

The new trains will be quieter and greener, meaning lower carbon emissions and quieter journeys for passengers from Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough, as well as the communities along the routes.

Abellio, the company which was recently awarded the eight-year East Midlands Railway (EMR) franchise, announced today that the £400m contract to build the new trains has been awarded to Hitachi Rail.

It has ordered 33 of the new trains as part of complete fleet replacement. Along with promises of more seats and more services, there are also plans for improved stations.

The new trains, which will start operating in 2022, will feature better passenger information screens, plug sockets and a more consistent seven-day catering service.

Dominic Booth, Abellio UK's managing director, said: “These new trains form the centrepiece of our ambitious plans for a complete replacement of all the trains on the East Midlands Railway and are a more than £600m investment to really improve the region’s railway.

"They will respond to what our passengers have told us they want with more frequent services, faster journeys between the East Midlands and London, and provide more capacity with 80 per cent more seats into London in the morning peak."

Karen Boswell, managing director for Hitachi Rail UK, said: “Hitachi is delighted that EMR passengers will soon be receiving the very latest model of our new intercity trains, which are already proving popular and increasing satisfaction among passengers in other parts of the country."

It comes as Abellio confirmed its senior management team. Will Rogers will join as managing director of East Midlands Railway in January 2020, while Julian Edwards, currently deputy managing director for Abellio UK, has been appointed interim managing director of East Midlands Railway to ensure a successful launch of the new franchise.