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EMR’s fleet replacement plans set out

Photo: New franchise launch: Reliveried Meridian No 222104 at Nottingham on the day of the EMR launch event, 19 August 2019.


Fleet and timetable plans for Abellio’s new East Midlands Railway franchise have been confirmed.

The operator is replacing every train in its current fleet between now and December 2022 as part of the eight-year franchise that began in August. Midland main line services will see a new fleet of 33×5-car bi-modes from Hitachi enter service during 2022, while a new EMR Electrics service from Corby to St Pancras from December 2020 will use the 21×4-car fleet of Class 360s cascaded from Greater Anglia, which will be uprated for 110mph operation and refurbished to make them suitable for their new outer-suburban role. A timetable change in December 2020 will introduce a sixth train per hour out of St Pancras, with two trains each to Corby, Nottingham and Sheffield.

For EMR’s regional services, current Class 153, 156 and 158 units will be replaced by an all-Class 170 fleet by December 2021. Totalling 99 carriages in two-car and three-car formations, the Turbostars will be cascaded from ScotRail, West Midlands Trains and Govia Thameslink Railway (in the latter case converted from Class 171s through replacement of Dellner couplers with the original BSI design).

The key timetable change for regional services will take place in December 2021 but with some changes a year earlier. Most services will run hourly and new through services will be introduced, including Crewe to Newark Castle, Derby to Norwich and Peterborough to Doncaster via Lincoln.

For full details of EMR’s franchise plans, including rolling stock and timetables, see our feature in the October 2019 issue of Modern Railways, on sale now and available to purchase at

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