East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains

December 09, 2013 11:58 ET

New Faster Train Journeys from Sheffield to London Launched Today

- Fastest train journey time of two hours to London, a reduction of six minutes

- Average journey time reduced by seven minutes

- GBP 70million investment in track upgrade to enable trains to run at 125 mph

- New timetable launched by East Midlands Trains

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Dec. 9, 2013) -

Editors' Note: There is a photo associated with this release.

Sheffield World Cup referee Howard Webb today (Monday 9 December) visited Sheffield train station to help blow the starter whistle for faster journeys to London.

The Yorkshire-born referee, who is widely rated as one of the best in the world, assisted East Midlands Trains, Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) with the dispatch of the 08.29 service from Sheffield train station which is one of the 68 trains to be improved in the new timetable. From today, passengers using this service benefit from a train journey time of 2 hours 1 minute to London - a six minute improvement on the previous journey time.

The fastest train to London will now take just two hours, whilst the average journey time has reduced by seven minutes to 2 hours 10 minutes.

The launch of the new faster train journeys comes on the back of a £70 million investment programme being delivered by Network Rail in partnership with East Midlands Trains. The programme of work includes the upgrade of almost 160 miles of track, with trains able to run at 125 mph on parts of the Midland Main Line route for the first time ever. Other work carried out as part of the investment package includes the replacement of a number of level crossings with bridges, minor re-signalling and work to realign parts of the track.

Howard Webb joined Clare Burles, HR Director for East Midlands Trains; Julie Hurley, Interim Director of Strategy for the SYPTE and Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council's Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Environment, to blow the starter whistle on 125 mph journeys to London for the very first time.

Clare Burles, HR Director for East Midlands Trains, said: "Over 13 million passengers now use our services to travel to London and the route provides a vital artery for the South Yorkshire region.

"These latest improvements to our timetable highlight just how much service levels have improved since we launched our franchise in 2007. The launch of our December 2008 timetable was the first stage in delivering faster journey times, then through a successful partnership with SYPTE, we brought two trains an hour to the Sheffield-London route in 2009. The launch of today's timetable will see a further seven minutes knocked off the average train journey time to London, which is a great step forward for our passengers.

"We understand the crucial role that faster journeys play in economic growth and we're therefore very pleased to be launching this new timetable with trains able to run at 125 mph for the very first time, marking the start of the next exciting chapter for this route."

Julie Hurley, SYPTE Interim Director of Strategy, said: "We are delighted to work in partnership with East Midlands Trains and Network Rail to provide these latest improvements, which has not only brought much needed investment to the Midland Main Line and rail in the North, but will see even faster journey times to London.

"Connections between London and South Yorkshire are so important to our local economy and so we continue to press the case very strongly for increased frequencies, which in turn will benefit customers."

Cllr Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council's Cabinet member for Business, Skills and Development said: "A Sheffield to London journey time of 2 hours has long been something we have been aiming for, it is therefore significant that this is now achievable. Faster journey times not only help businesses and travellers, but a journey time of 2 hours makes us more attractive for inward investment."

Phil Verster, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, added: "The Midland Main Line is an important railway as it connects communities in the East Midlands and provides a key commuter route to London. Our £70million investment will allow trains to run up to 125 miles an hour on sections of the route, bringing significant social and economic benefits to the region through faster journeys and improved reliability. We are working closely with East Midlands Trains to complete the final stages of this programme of investment."

In addition to the improvements for Sheffield train station, passengers in Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester will also benefit from faster journeys to London.

Copies of the new timetable are now available at East Midlands Trains stations and online at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. In addition to the improved journey times, there will also be changes to many of the departure times and connection times. Passengers are therefore strongly advised to check the new timetable in advance of travel.

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20131209-916697.jpg

- Pictured L-R are Julie Hurley, SYPTE Interim Director of Strategy; Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council's Cabinet member for Business Skills and Development; Clare Burles, HR Director for East Midlands Trains and Howard Webb.

Additional high resolution photographs are available on request.

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, please contact East Midlands Trains 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.

New East Midlands Trains timetables will deliver improvements to the average train journey times and fastest journey times from the majority of stations on the main line route to London. Some of the key changes are detailed below:

Services to London Average journey time in Dec 2012 Average journey time in Dec 2013 Fastest journey time in Dec 2012 Fastest journey time in Dec 2013
Sheffield 02:17 02:10 02:06 02:00
Chesterfield 02:06 01:59 01:54 01:48
Derby 01:43 01:39 01:32 01:28
Nottingham 01:53 01:48 01:39 01:31
East Midlands Parkway 01:37 01:34 01:28 01:22
Loughborough 01:33 01:30 01:19 01:17
Leicester 01:18 01:17 01:08 01:05
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.
  • Committed to offering great value fares. Use the East Midlands 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 a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States and Canada. The Group employs around 35,000 people, and operates bus, coach, train, and tram services.
  • Stagecoach is one of UK's biggest bus and coach operators with around 8,000 buses and coaches. Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach's buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The Group's business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge. Low-cost coach service, megabus.com, operates between around 60 towns and cities across the UK.
  • Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast inter-city rail franchise.
  • Stagecoach also operates the Supertram light rail network in Sheffield.
  • In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,900 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. Megabus.com serves more than 100 cities in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter and transit services, contracted bus services, charters, sightseeing tours and a small number of school bus services.

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