East Midlands Railway has introduced Class 156 trains on its Barton-on-Humber route from today and makes its fleet of trains fully accessible on all routes.
The Class 156s replace the outgoing Class 153s, which have been removed from service as they are not PRM Compliant. This change means that anyone with any disability can travel on the entire EMR network.
After the Barton-on-Humber route was transferred to East Midlands Railway back in May 2021, the line was crewed by TransPennine Express colleagues. However, from today, EMR Senior Conductors will now work trains along the Barton-on-Humber branch.
Over the last six months, Senior Conductors have been training at Lincoln in preparation for today.
Additionally, from the 13th December 2021, Freightliner Drivers will take temporary responsibility for driving trains on the route whilst more driver training is completed by East Midlands Railway.
Will Rogers, Managing Director for EMR said: “The introduction of the Class 156 fleet and EMR traincrew onto the Barton-on-Humber route represents a positive next chapter for us.
“The removal of the Class 153’s from the Barton-on-Humber route means that as a Train Operator, all of our trains are fully accessible for our passengers.
“Since the transfer of the Barton-on-Humber route from Northern to EMR in May this year, our colleagues at TPE have been staffing our trains. Today, with the introduction of the new timetable, we are pleased to confirm that all of the trains servicing the Barton-on-Humber route will be staffed by EMR, giving our passengers the great customer experience they can expect from travelling with us.
Mike Gathercole, Chair of Barton Cleethorpes Community Rail Partnership said: “It is pleasing to note all EMR services from today will now be PRM compliant.
“Our services on the Barton to Cleethorpes where solely serviced by non-compliant Class 153 and it is pleasing to see a changeover to Class 156 with PRM compliance enabling our passengers with mobility issues able to now use our services. This is a major step up for EMR and is welcomed by our partnership.”
Tom Irvin, Chairman of the Friends of the Barton Line said: “It is really pleasing to have accessible trains on our route. There is still progress to make on the stations, but this is a welcome first step.
“Many of our members in particular have requested the visual on-board customer information systems which these trains will deliver.
“We also have high hopes that todays changes to service delivery will provide a significant improvement to the reliability of services.”