East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Railway launches

The prestigious launch of the new East Midlands Railway franchise was held yesterday at one of the world’s most iconic railway buildings, Derby College’s Roundhouse.

The Management team announced for East Midlands Railway, with headquarters in Derby, will be headed on an interim basis by Julian Edwards, Deputy MD of Abellio UK, to ensure a successful launch of the new franchise. Julian has promised ‘easier journeys, every day’ with an investment of £600m.

Will Rogers will join as Managing Director of EMR in January 2020.

Will is currently Managing Director of Arriva Rail London, operator of London Overground, and led the successful mobilisation of the Concession and the first three years of operation. In his time in the rail industry he has worked with manufacturers such as Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens, transport authorities such as TfL and DfT, financiers, operators, advisers, maintainers and the Office of Rail and Road.

Other members of the new EMR executive team are Finance Director - Tim Gledhill; Operations Director - Darren Ward; Commercial Director - Lawrence Bowman; Customer Services Director - Neil Grabham; Fleet Director - Chris Wright; Transition & Projects Director - Lisa Angus; HSSE Director - Paul Rushton; and Human Resources Director - Kirsty Derry.

These appointments will help support Abellio’s ambitions for the East Midlands Railway to deliver easier journeys as Abellio invests over £600 million to give passengers more seats, more services, better stations and new trains.

Marketing Derby MD, John Forkin, who attended the event commented “We welcome Abellio’s emphasis on investment & in particular the fact they have chosen Derby as their East Midlands Railway HQ and really look forward to working closely with the team."


Photo Credit: AV’IT Media


£200m station upgrade complete


79 days, 150,00 tonnes of ballast, 240 engineering trains, 17km of new track, 10 signal gantries, 65 new signals, 21,177 sleepers, 79 sets of points and 1,340-metre station platform. This is the content of a £200m upgrade project to Derby train station, the biggest investment in Derby’s railway since the Victorian era and was finished on budget and on time.

In the early hours of Monday morning, the final pieces of equipment and machinery were removed and the lines to the north of Derby station were handed back to East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry to allow the full train service to resume for the first time since Sunday, 22 July – 3 hours ahead of schedule.

Over 600,000 hours of work went into the project, which saw huge improvements to the track and signalling.

The speed which trains can travel through the station has now increased and a key bottleneck has been removed, meaning passengers will no longer endure a lengthy wait to enter the platforms. Control of the signalling has also moved from old style, lineside signal boxes to the state-of-the-art control centre. Passengers will benefit from a more modern and reliable railway with reduced delays.

The project has been delivered in partnership between Network Rail, East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry who have worked together to keep passengers moving throughout the last 79 days. The partnership has put passengers first. Trains have been running for 78 of the 79 days of the work; a huge and a carefully planned rail replacement bus operation has been in place, with 5,494 services provided.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director, East Midlands Trains, added: “I am immensely proud of the hard work and skill shown by our people in planning and delivering this. The Derby Resignalling Project was a very challenging period for everyone but we have come through that exceptionally well and also delivered the upgrade safely, efficiently and reintroduced our full train service from Monday morning, as planned.

“This investment will improve journeys across the East Midlands and beyond, but we understand it has meant an extended period of change and disruption too. I am very grateful and appreciative for the patience and understanding shown by our passengers and we hope they will enjoy the benefits of the investment from now on.”

Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “This is a once in a generation investment to improve the railway in Derby and the benefits will be felt across the whole of the East Midlands.

“We’re delighted that this work is now complete, and we look forward to passengers reaping the benefits. We appreciate that this work has impacted on people and we would like to thank all those affected whilst this vital investment took place.

“We’ve worked incredibly closely with both East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry to keep people moving and this project is a great example of the rail industry working collaboratively to improve services for passengers.

“Passenger numbers are ever increasing, and this upgrade means we can continue to provide a service which meet the needs of the communities and economies which our railway serves.”

Rail Minister Jo Johnson said: “This is a key milestone in the Government’s rail upgrade programme and is part of the £1.5 billion modernisation of the Midland Mainline.

“Passengers have been incredibly patient during the summer while the huge engineering work has taken place and they will now start to take advantage of the improvements which will deliver more reliable, faster services, with more seats.”

£200 Million Investment for Derby Station

Derby railway station is to receive a £200 million investment, getting underway in just under 6 months.

Bondholder East Midlands Trains along with Network Rail and CrossCountry yesterday announced the biggest rail investment in Derby for decades, replacing and upgrading the current track and infrastructure to provide better journeys for all passengers travelling to, through and from Derby.

Jo Johnson, MP, Rail Minister said, “The £200 million re-signalling programme in the Derby area will improve reliability, punctuality, and ensure the line is fit for future growth.”

In addition to the infrastructure works, a new platform will also be built to increase capacity at the station. Work is expected to be completed by 7th October.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director, East Midlands Trains, said, “We know how frustrated our customers feel when their train is forced to wait outside Derby for a platform or track to clear – this investment will remove these bottlenecks and help to improve journeys.”

John Forkin, Managing Director, Marketing Derby said, “The investment is excellent news for Derby as anything that improves the passenger experience can only be good. We’re happy to share information with our business stakeholders on the short term changes to journeys this summer as the long term benefit is so good.”

A dedicated new website has been launched to help passengers understand the temporary changes to journeys whilst works are being done. The website can be found at www.dby2018.co.uk, whilst further information can be found by emailing dby2018@eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.

East Midlands Trains Unveils New Business Booking System

Bondholder East Midlands Trains has unveiled a new booking system, aimed at small and medium sized businesses.

East Midlands Trains Business Travel offers an online portal allowing employees to quickly and easily book their own travel, but within the guidelines set by the business itself. It is aimed at businesses which don’t require full travel management services but would still like a simple and hassle free booking experience.

The online system allows employees to set up individual profiles, book direct, and pay using their own card, or a single corporate payment card. The system can also book tickets for travel right across the country, not just with East Midlands Trains. In addition, businesses will receive a call every three months to make sure they’re happy with the system.

Richard Clay, Head of Sales, East Midlands Trains, said: “Our new Business Travel system makes it much easier for small and medium sized businesses to travel for work. It’s like having a full travel agency at your fingertips but without the fees and costs which much larger businesses will pay.

“We’re absolutely committed to helping the East Midlands grow and we believe this tool will help businesses to concentrate on running a thriving and successful business and spend less time booking their travel.”

For more information about the booking system, please click here

EMT Leading the Race

Bondholder East Midlands Trains has been named by Business in the Community as one of the UK’s Best Employers for Race.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “It is important that our workforce reflects the communities we serve and we need to be a welcoming place for everyone.

“Our recruitment team has been doing a lot of work to encourage a more diverse workforce by tackling the unconscious bias through blind candidate screening and running targeted recruitment campaigns that have encouraged more applications from females and people from ethnic minorities. We still have a way to go but it’s great to see that the steps taken so far are starting to pay off, and we’re extremely pleased this has been recognised by Business in the Community.”

Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director at Business in the Community, said: “Congratulations to East Midlands Trains on being named in the first ever Best Employers for Race listing. They are taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to tackling racial inequalities within their organisation and have shown their commitment and leadership on this issue.

“I hope more employers will follow their example of best practice and take part in the 2018 listing. If employers truly want their workplaces to reflect the clients, communities and customers they serve, the time to act is now.”

East Midlands Trains Investment

Bondholder East Midlands Trains has announced a major investment in training for its drivers, and at the same time has announced the start of a recruitment drive for additional drivers. 

East Midlands Trains has invested in new technology at its Derby-based training academy, and a new train driver simulator will revolutionise driver training, briefings and assessments. 

Kirsty Derry, HR Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’re constantly recruiting new drivers into our team, so it’s vital that we continue to enhance and develop our training programme to ensure all of our drivers are equipped with the best skills.

“One of our major challenges now is encouraging a more diverse driving workforce. We’ve been working to increase the number of females applying for our driver roles, with open evenings aimed specifically at women, as well as tackling the unconscious bias through blind screening."

Derby Grammar Raises Africa Money

Representatives from Bondholder YMCA Derbyshire visited fellow Bondholder Derby Grammar School to present them with a cheque for £350 towards their fundraising to support Gedeli B School in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Derby Grammar School support the residents of the YMCA through harvest festival donations and shoe box gifts at Christmas. The YMCA, through its SOLID committee wanted to repay this generosity by raising money for the Grammar School’s Tanzania project which supports school-children at Gedeli B School in Mwanza.

Lee Joseph, a SOLID committee member, explained: “SOLID stands for Shout Out Loud in Derby. It is a committee formed by YMCA residents to volunteer on projects in our local community. We often support local schools and groups by donating time for building or groundwork projects, but for Tanzania we wanted to do something different.”

They came up with the idea of a cake sale and were delighted when fellow Bondholder East Midlands Trains agreed they could sell the cakes at Derby train station.

SOLID committee member Michaela Barford added: “We baked 300 cakes at YMCA on London Road, and had some donated. It felt really good to be raising money for a good cause like Gedeli B School. For our group of YMCA residents, it took some of us out of our comfort zone by selling the cakes and meeting people, but it really helped develop confidence. And after raising £350 we all felt a huge sense of achievement.”

Derby Grammar School has supported Gedeli B School in Mwanza, Tanzania since 2013. To date over £65,000 has been raised which has built two toilet blocks, two classrooms and a special needs classroom.

Funds have also enabled the installation of electricity and water, as well as the purchase of resources including desks, chairs and exercise books.

£200m Investment for Derby Station

A £200 million upgrade to Derby train station is due to get underway next summer. 

East Midlands Trains and Network Rail have confirmed that the investment will offer significant improvements to the tracks and the signalling system, as well as a new station platform.

Work is due to commence from July 2018, and will cause some disruption to services. 

Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “This work is vital to deliver an upgraded railway in Derby and we are supportive of the plans in place by Network Rail.

“Our key priority is to ensure that we provide the best possible service for our customers during the works. We are developing comprehensive plans to ensure that we can continue running as many of our London train services as possible, whilst ensuring that we can offer reliable replacement rail services on the local routes during the times we are not able to operate our train services.

“We’re in the process of finalising all the details of our timetable during the works and will be publishing detailed customer advice and timetables early in the New Year. We’ll also be carrying out an extensive communications campaign with customers, key businesses and rail station users so they are aware of the changes they can expect during these works.”


£200m Plans for Derby Station

Plans worth £200m to expand Derby's railway station have been submitted to Bondholder Derby City Council.

The plans outline the construction of a new platform on the Pride Park side of Derby Midland Station, resulting in six "through" platforms. 

The construction forms part of a revamp of the Midland Main Line, which runs between Derby and London in the south, and Sheffield in the north. 

The new platform will not only help ease congestion at the station, but will also help increase capacity. 

Network Rail, who submitted the plans, said: "We have recently submitted designs for a new platform at Derby station to Derby City Council for prior approval, as part of our project to remodel the track at Derby Station in 2018.

"This upgrade is a significant piece of work that will bring journey time benefits to passengers travelling to, from, and through Derby."

Derby Midland Station is run by Bondholder East Midlands Trains, recently begun a six-figure investment into improving the station.  To kick off this new investment, the operator has installed new customer information screens. 

Rick Cammack, project manager for East Midlands Trains, said: "These new customer service improvements are all part of East Midlands Trains' commitment to keeping customers informed and as up to date as possible with the latest information.

"The new screens will help customers with simple and easy-to-read next train information. The screens that were installed throughout Derby station have already received positive feedback from staff and customers who have reported how much of an improvement they are."

East Midlands Trains - Top UK Employer

East Midlands Trains has been named among the UK's top employers, by the Top Employers Institute. 

Every year the institute recognises employers from across the world that provide excellent employee conditions, and nurture their staff's talent and development. 

Our research concluded that East MIdlands Trains provides an outstanding employment environment.
— James Gooding, Top Employers Institute

Kirsty Derry, HR Director for East Midlands Trains, said: "We're over the moon to be named one of the top employers in the UK. Our people - both customer-facing and behind the scenes - play a crucial role in driving this business forward and this is a real credit to the whole team.

"We know from our most-recent employee survey that satisfaction is at its highest ever level, but to have this endorsement demonstrates East Midlands Trains is among the top companies in the UK makes us very proud."



East Midlands Trains Scoops Top Award

Bondholder company East Midlands Trains has scooped a top industry award for its punctuality. 

At the Golden Whistles, a national award ceremony hosted by Modern Railways and the Institute of Railway Operators, East Midlands Trains won the best "right time" performance for a long-distance train operator. The company saw off competition from other operators, including Virgin Trains.

In 2016, East Midlands Trains ran 70% of its trains to the right time, and 92% of its services within 10 minutes of their scheduled time.  

East Midlands Trains has maintained its record as the best performing long-distance train operator in the country for more than seven years.

East Midlands Trains' Partnership Platform

Bondholder East Midlands Trains held its Stakeholder Conference this week, with delegates hearing about the range of customer experience improvements delivered.

East Midlands Trains has focused considerable effort in the last twelve months on customer experience to ensure punctual and reliable services, more comfortable and accessible trains and stations, better value for money and simpler journeys, and is further developing a programme of initiatives based on customer feedback. The most recent National Rail Passenger Survey showed an overall satisfaction score of 86% for East Midlands Trains.

Delegates also heard from Eddie Muraszko, Deputy Director – Midlands, North and Wales market at the Department for Transport, of the Government’s plans for the new East Midlands rail franchise which will shape the future of train services over the next five to ten years. Public consultations are expected to start in December 2016 with award of contract in spring 2018.

Looking ahead to the new franchise Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, Jake Kelly said to stakeholders “We work best when we work together. East Midlands Trains has been successful in recent years in mobilising to secure investment and this is the place where the best value is to be had. Re-franchising will be bumpy and our job is to make sure our customers don’t notice.”

East Midlands Trains has highlighted the need for new trains and extra carriages to continue driving faster economic growth for the East Midlands in its new report East Midlands: A Railway for Growth which has been published following input from local authorities, major businesses, universities, tourism companies and a range of other key stakeholders across region.

Spencer Gibbens, Principal Sponsor (Midland Main Line) at Network Rail provided an update at the Conference on the planned investment of £2billion to improve the Midland Main Line by 2023, including the re-modelling of Derby station to be undertaken in 2018.

EMT propose £300m investment

A new report from Bondholder East Midlands Trains sets out £300m of proposals for faster and more frequent services between Derby and London, additional carriages for greater capacity, and improved Wi-Fi facilities.

The report East Midlands: A Railway for Growth was launched by East Midlands Trains Managing Director, Jake Kelly, at Bondholder Rail Forum East Midlands’ annual conference, held at Bondholder the iPro Stadium.  Whilst he described the plans as “ambitious”, he stressed the ongoing commitment of East Midlands Trains to investment in its rolling stock, people and services.  He said “If we are to build on the big progress made in recent years, we need to take action to ensure communities and the economy in the East Midlands benefit from further improvements and we don’t lose out to other regions.”

“We need to be loud and proud about the improvements that we would like to see and that our customers deserve.”

Jake Kelly, Managing Director, East Midlands Trains

The key priorities require approval by the Department for Transport and in attendance at the conference was the UK’s new rail minister, Paul Maynard, who said the Government would take on board the report’s recommendations and was already developing plans for the next East Midlands franchise due to start in 2018.

Sir John Peace, chairman of the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect, helped launch the report at the conference, highlighting the importance of investment in transport infrastructure in the East Midlands to help the broader Midlands region realise its economic potential. He said “There is clearly a need now for more and faster trains for the East Midlands and the proposals contained in this report take a sensible and pragmatic approach to achieving that.”

A copy of the report can be found at www.arailwayforgrowth.co.uk.

Finalists announced for Chamber Awards

The annual East Midlands Chamber Business Awards is back with a range of Bondholders competing as finalists.

We have a good cross-section of businesses represented this year and they all deserve their place on the list.
— Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber

Bondholder finalists include Anoki, Balls2Marketing, Derby Museums (shortlisted for two categories), DrivenMedia, Foundation Derbyshire, Purpose Media, Sky Recruitment and HUUB, which is a finalist for four categories.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: "As always, we had a bumper crop of entries and our sponsors had a difficult task in whittling entrants in each category down to a final three. We have a good cross-section of businesses represented this year and they all deserve their place on the list."

Many Bondholders are also sponsoring categories including: East Midlands Trains, PKF Cooper Parry, RDS Global, Rolls-Royce and Mazars, which is sponsoring three categories across the region.

The East Midlands Chamber Business Awards 2016 for Derbyshire will be held on 16th September at the Roundhouse with the gala dinner being hosted by ITV Weather presenter, Emma Jesson.

East Midlands Trains tops national survey

Bondholder East Midlands Trains has been named the UK's best train operator in the most recent UK Customer Satisfaction Index.

Published twice a year, the Index looks at customer satisfaction across a range of transport sectors including train operators, coach firms, airlines and ferry companies.

We have put a real focus on improving the experience our customers receive at our stations and on our trains.
— Andrew Conroy, Customer Experience Director at East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains scored 77.7% in customer satisfaction — 3.3% above the transport sector average.

The research recognised the customer experience improvements made by East Midlands Trains, listing the rail operator as the ninth most improved organisation in the UK.

Andrew Conroy, Customer Experience Director at East Midlands Trains, said: "It's great news that we have once again been named the best train operator in the UK by the Institute of Customer Service. We have put a real focus on improving the experience our customers receive at our stations and on our trains, and this is testament to these improvements and the hard work of our own employees in continuing to deliver the best service they can for our customers."

Other train operators included in the survey were Virgin Trains, Virgin Trains East Coast, London Midland, Northern Rail, Transpenine, Greater Western, Ariva Wales, Abellio Greater Anglia, Southern Rail, Abellio Scotrail and South Eastern.

Hat Trick of Awards for EMT

Bondholder company, East Midlands Trains is celebrating after scoring a hat-trick of national industry awards.

The train operator managed to scoop the coveted Passenger Operator of the Year title at the National Rail Awards in London last week.

Managing director David Horne said: “This is an incredible achievement for East Midlands Trains and I’m so proud of our 2,020 staff who work so hard to deliver a great service for our customers and at the same time have helped to deliver some major improvements to our railway.”

The company headed in Pride Park was highly commended also for the Putting Passengers First and Station of the Year categories.

East Midlands Trains has also recently spent millions refurbishing its fleet of trains and stations.