Stagecoach to continue East Midlands Trains franchise

East Midlands Trains to launch new business booking system
Credit: East Midlands Trains

Stagecoach has announced that is to continue operating East Midlands Trains for at least another five months. This follows a new agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT).

The current East Midlands Trains franchise is due to end on 2 March 2019. In order to bridge the gap to ensure a smooth transition to the new franchise, which is expected to start in August 2019, a new short term agreement as required.

It will commence on 3 March 2019 and run until at least 18 August 2019.

Stagecoach has operated the East Midlands Trains franchise successfully for over 11 years.

Under the new agreement, passengers will benefit from a range of improvements:

  • Supporting the delivery of the £1.5bn Midland Main Line upgrade to improve capacity and reduce journey times.
  • Continuation of the investment programme to improve stations and trains, which includes accessibility improvements at stations and on trains.
  • Roll out of smart ticketing in March 2019 as part of the wider programme on National Rail.

Additionally, East Midlands Trains will be focused on ensuring readiness for the subsequent franchise that is currently being tendered by the DfT.

What did the officials say?

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said:

“We are pleased to have been given the opportunity by the DfT to extend our successful tenure of the East Midlands Trains franchise until at least August.

“We are very proud of the improvements we have delivered for our customers and our people over the past 11 years, and we look forward to continuing this successful track record.”

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.
  • But will Stagecoach extend the East Midlands franchise for up to 5 years for example. Or will they lose the franchise and other bidders such as:

    First Group
    DB Arriva
    Joint Venture Abellio+JR East/Mitsui or First Group+MTR

    Or a government owned open access franchise that could manage the East Midlands franchise when Stagecoach loses its franchise. Or will Stagecoach merge with Virgin Trains and to retain the franchise.