East Mids Chamber comments on Abellio winning East Midlands Railway franchise

Published on: Thursday, 11th April 2019

A representative of the East Midlands Chamber has issued a statement in the wake of Dutch firm Abellio being awarded the East Midlands railway franchise, taking it from Stagecoach, trading locally as East Midlands Trains, who were reportedly banned from the bidding process over concerns regarding the company pension. 

Stagecoach are understood to be appealing the decision which has also meant that Virgin Trains, a partner on part of the rail network may also be similarly restricted because of that partnership.  East Midlands Trains run services through both Ilkeston and Long Eaton Railway Stations.

Commenting on Abellio being announced as the new franchisee, Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at award-winning East Midlands Chamber said: “The East Midlands Railway network is vitally important for business, providing essential connections beyond London and Sheffield and also across the country beyond Lincoln and Stoke.

“The new franchise includes exciting plans to improve passenger comfort, seat numbers, free wifi, more car and cycle parking and new trains, including trialling hydrogen-powered stock. We will continue, however, to press the Department for Transport for full electrification of the Midland Main Line so that we can enjoy lighter, cleaner, greener trains and closer integration with HS2 along the route.

“We look forward to working with the new franchisee to build on the positive work that’s been done in the region in recent times and deliver a service fit for business growth over the next decade.”

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