East Midlands Trains boss pledges future of Norwich services

Monday, October 1, 2012
6:30 AM

A train boss has pledged the company’s commitment to the future of its services out of Norwich.

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During a question and answer session at Chapelfield Methodist Church, the managing director of East Midlands Trains, David Horne, revealed that the Norwich to Liverpool line had seen a 20pc increase in passenger numbers over the past three years and its punctuality had improved from 82pc in 2008 to 90.5pc this year.

He also said passenger satisfaction had improved from 72pc in spring 2008 to 86pc this year.

The increase was put down to improvements made on the services, including the quality and punctuality of trains.

Mr Horne also highlighted how the company hopes to improve services further by cutting travel times and keeping down costs.

“We are very keen to see the route develop, not just be maintained. Apart from anything, the number of people using the route is growing every year,” said Mr Horne.

“The route has got a very bright future. It provides vital direct journeys across key cities and that’s an important thing for us to remember. We are looking to make modest improvements on the line and we do need to work harder to secure major transformation on the route.”

Mr Horne told the meeting, which was organised by the Railfuture East Anglia Branch, that the route between Norwich and Liverpool was below average in terms of passenger numbers within East Midlands Trains’ services, but that the service saw 67,000 people travel between Norwich and Peterborough last year. Meanwhile, 30,000 people travelled to Nottingham, 20,000 to Manchester and 9,000 travelled the 250-mile trip to Liverpool.

A £10m refurbishment of the fleet of trains on the route was completed in June 2010 and last year an evening service between Norwich and Nottingham was added.

An extra Norwich to Nottingham Sunday service will be added this December and next year signalling around Nottingham will be improved, leading to a six-week disruption, but some rail time improvements.

8 comments

  • Good job we're all different, DaveG - I'll stick to going via London - faster, more comfortable and in the London - Manchester bit, more modern - not to say roomier, and refreshments available. Also fewer stops (3 between London - Manchester) - More frequent to.

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    biglingers

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • East Midlands Trains treats long distance travellers like cattle The Norwich to Liverpool Lime street used to be a proper mainline style train suitable for long distances, now it is just a Noddy train, two carriages suitable for commuter length hops. Inadequate luggage space, not enough seats and horribly over crowded at times Poor facilities and expensive-over £110 off peak return Norwich to Manchester. And the joke figure quoted on National Rail enquiries of £449 for peak ( 7.40 am and 8 am ) Anytime ticket and £500+ for a first class. That has to be a mistake-the single air fare is only around £100.If it is not it means passengers have to mess about double ticketing if they need to travel at that time. And what sort of company splits its Liverpool to Norwich train at Nottingham but reserves the majority of the seats in the section going to Norwich for those departing at Nottingham, so Norwich bound passengers have to sit on the part of the train terminating at Nottingham and then when the booked seats are empty up sticks with all their luggage and transfer to the part of the train they need to be on before it leaves without them? Plus I have been unable to find any advance booking reductions on this route at all. Travelling via London is fine time and cost wise, but not so good for those who don't want to hack about the Underground-the old, infirm, those with kids and luggage-the people looking for a good through service from Norwich to the North West.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • I agree with everything Daisy Roots has said and I hope those points will be passed on to the MD of East Midlands Trains. We have trvelled to and from Liverpool and Manchester on this service and the trains are certainly not suitable for the kind of traffic they are carrying. Thge route includes some absolutely spectacular scenery on the Sheffield to Manchester section and overall timings are not dissimilar to trying to do it the Nowrich-London-Liverpool way [including the inter-terminal transfer] and the convenience of not having to change [so long as you're in the right portion of the train] is worth it. It would be good to have a direct sevice to birmingham again rather than having to change at Ely or Peterborough - the two most windswept stations in the country I should think and often involving a tricky route-march over or under the lines.

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    JCW

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • Who is Mr Horne kidding - Quality of service yeah - coming back from Manchester early this year my train broke down twice! Passenger satisfaction? I go via London now, rather than sit in a two car train for four+ hours (most without refreshments). Direct journeys? spends 10 mins in Nottingham!, PeterboroughNottinghamShefffieldStockportManchester - very direct! Anything upto 12 stops between Norwich and Manchester - I'll stick to going via London!

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    biglingers

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • I think direct means you do not have to change trains once you are on it. Bit better than one to London, fight the tube and then another to Manchester. Take a book to read, its a very pleasant journey

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    DaveG

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • I live in Norfolk, I work in Norfolk, I don't whinge about the trains...... life is simples.

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    expat

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • No one is asking for a non stop service littlesharpie but to have one that has suitable and enough carriages to accommodate the heavy commuter traffic on parts of the route would be nice. To say that a city the size of Norwich does not deserve a decent connection to the rest of the country is doing Norfolk down- this route not only takes people to Manchester and Liverpool but is the only way out of the county, unless travelling via London. It is also used by people travelling out of King's Lynn and possibly Cambridge boarding at Ely don't forget. The EDP has been making a lot of fuss about the Norwich to London line ignoring that those who are making 4 hour+ journeys with East Midlands are not getting a brilliant service. And I agree about Peterborough and Ely stations-sometimes in the last few snowy winters it has been like being an extra on Dr Zhivago -as well as risking "terminal" frostbite from metal seats.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, October 1, 2012

  • While you might like the the idea of a non-stop service to Manchester, Liverpool, or wherever you personally happen to want to go, those people who get on and off at those tedious other stops just happen to be paying for the service as well.... That said, I agree 100% that the trains and facilities (refreshments, toilets, luggage space) on this route are often not up to scratch for long journeys and need serious thought and investment.

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    littlesharpie

    Monday, October 1, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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