New deal sees £13 million pumped into train line

East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains

Passengers using East Midland Trains from Bedford to London, or north, should soon see the benefits of a £13million investment.

Under a new franchise deal, which begins in October, customers will benefit from a wide range of improvements including a freeze on Anytime fares to London, 250,000 discounted tickets, cleaner stations, enhanced on board services and new technology to help provide faster and better information.

They will also see the launch of new mobile app, upgraded 4G connectivity on trains and free 15 minutes WiFi on London trains in Standard Class.

The move comes as Stagecoach Group extended its franchise to operate services to at least March 2018, with a possibility of extending the contract by up to one year.

While the money comes from a £38 billion Govnerment fund to improve rail travel across the country, Stagecoach forecasts it will return £150 million in premium payments.

Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: “This is a significant package of investment for customers travelling on East Midlands Trains, Britain’s most punctual long-distance train operator.

“It will build on what our team has achieved over the past eight years and deliver further valuable improvements for the millions of passengers and many communities who rely on the East Midlands Trains network.”

The firm will put an extra £250,000 community rail, introduce of a new schools education programme and continue to invest in apprenticeships and graduate schemes.

It will also improve accessibility with a new in-house disability expert and improved passenger assistance system.