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2015-10-19 EMT-001
East Midlands Trains

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Transport Secretary and East Midlands Trains mark new era for customers as £13m investment programme gets underway


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East Midlands Trains

Transport Secretary and East Midlands Trains mark new era for customers as £13m investment programme gets underway
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2015-10-19 Transport Secretary and East Midlands Trains mark new era for customers as £13 million investment programme gets underway (Department for Transport)

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date
19 October 2015 06.00
source East Midlands Trains
type Press release

note (Distributed under embargo 17 October 2015.)


o East Midlands Trains franchise will now run until at least March 2018
o Programme of investment for customers as part of new deal with Department for Transport
o Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, helps to mark the day
o Customers treated to free chocolates at many East Midlands Trains stations

East Midlands Trains customers will be treated to free train-shaped chocolates today (19 October) as a £13 million programme of investment gets underway to deliver better journeys for millions of customers travelling on the UK’s most punctual long distance train services.

Following an agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT), East Midlands Trains will continue running services from London St Pancras International to Northamptonshire, the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, as well as local routes throughout Lincolnshire, the East Midlands and Staffordshire and trains between Liverpool and Norwich until at least March 2018. The initial franchise was due to end in October 2015 and following the agreement with the DfT, the new franchise will now run until at least 4 March 2018 with the DfT having the option to extend the contract by up to a further year.

Around £13 million will be invested to improve journeys with discounted fares and an improved compensation system for delays. There will also be cleaner stations and trains, a better on-board service and new technology to provide faster and better customer information.

Local communities will benefit with more than £250,000 invested in community rail, expansion of the popular station adoption scheme, new initiatives with schools and continued opportunities for graduates and young people. Extra front-line staff will be recruited to help customers, and employees will benefit from a wide range of improvements.

To mark the start of the new era of East Midlands Trains and the multi-million investment programme, extra staff will be on hand at stations across the network today handing out free train-shaped chocolates and talking to customers about the exciting plans for the next few years.

There will also be copies of East Midlands Matters available, a new bi-annual customer report launched today, which will provide clear and transparent information for customers on progress with the investment plans, and updates on how East Midlands Trains is performing. Issue One of East Midlands Matters can be found here http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/Global/Documents/EMT_Matters_Issue_1.pdf

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I want to see passengers put at the heart of our railway system. The franchise that starts today will mean better journeys and a better deal for passengers on East Midlands Trains. Strengthening our transport infrastructure, locally and nationally, is a key part of the government's long term economic plan, and the £38 billion spent on the UK's rail network between 2014 and 2019 will help boost jobs and growth."

Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, added: “This is a very exciting day for our customers, our employees and local communities and marks the start of our multi-million pound investment programme.

“We are extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to continue operating train services until at least March 2018, and we’re certain our customers will welcome the plans we have in place to improve our services.

“Today marks the start of a new era for East Midlands Trains and we hope customers will enjoy talking to our team, reading about our plans and of course, eating the free chocolates we’ll be handing out!”

The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, will be helping East Midlands Trains to mark the start of the investment programme and the first day of the new franchise. He will be joining Neil Micklethwaite, Customer Experience and Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains, and the team at Derby station to help despatch the 08.01 from Derby on Monday 19 October. For more information or to request an interview, please contact Emma Knight, Group Head of Media by emailing emma.knight@stagecoachgroup.com or calling 07771 830995.

ENDS

Planned improvements to be delivered for customers include:

Better value fares – freeze on all Anytime fares to London until 2017; and quarter of a million discounted Advance Purchase tickets made available through our biggest ever ticket sale
New technology and easier travel – launch of new mobile app; upgraded 4G connectivity on trains and free 15 minutes WiFi on London trains in Standard Class; new smartphones for customer-facing employees to help provide faster information for customers; more ticket machines; and extra help-points at stations
Faster refunds – an improved online compensation system for delays, providing faster compensation to customers who make valid claims;
Cleaner stations and trains – extra cleaning staff on trains and cleaner stations
Accessibility and security improvements – new in-house disability expert; improved passenger assistance system; £1m investment in station accessibility improvements; and extension of secure stations programme
Improved on-board service – on-board shop available on many busy peak time services to/from London to offer an even wider range of drinks and snacks; catering trolley service extended to more stops on Liverpool to Norwich services; complimentary First Class breakfast extended to include selected Saturday morning services for the first time
More seats and faster journeys – further improvements to the Nottingham-Newark-Lincoln timetable, with extra services and faster journey times on Saturdays; working with the Department for Transport to examine options for further improvements to services at weekends across other local routes
Community engagement – extension of community rail programme, supported by extra £250,000 in funding and new Partnerships Manager; roll out of schools education and work experience initiatives; new Charity Committee; expansion of popular station adoption scheme; and further work to promote and support local small and medium-sized businesses
Investment in people – more frontline staff to help customers; enhanced customer service training for employees; providing more opportunities for graduates and young people.

Contact

Emma Knight
emma.knight@stagecoachgroup.com
For media enquiries, please contact us on 01738 442111. Out of office hours: An on-call service operates for urgent media enquiries out of hours. To access this service, please call 08448 222888 and quote MEDIA1. Please leave a short message, including your name, media organisation, phone number and the nature of your enquiry. The on call press officer will then return your call.


East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, runs fast, frequent trains from and to London St Pancras International and key UK destinations throughout the East Midlands, including Leicester, Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
East Midlands Trains is currently investing over £40 million to improve stations across its network and every single passenger train within its fleet.
East Midlands Trains is committed to offering great value fares. Use the Best Fare Finder to search for cheap train tickets and book cheap train tickets to London and on more than 400 routes across the UK.

Stagecoach Group
Stagecoach Group is an international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, mainland Europe, the United States and Canada. The Group employs around 39,000 people, and operates around 13,000 buses, coaches, trains and trams.
Stagecoach is one of the UK's biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,500 buses and coaches on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates a network of inter-city services across the UK and mainland Europe.
Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has also partnered with Virgin to run the East Coast and West Coast inter-city rail franchises.
Stagecoach operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,400 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. megabus.com links around 130 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter, transit, contracted, charter, airport shuttle and sightseeing services.


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