New look for cross-country trains

Train services between Norwich and Liverpool are to be run by a new company which promises to spend millions of pounds on improvements on the network, it was announced.

Train services between Norwich and Liverpool are to be run by a new company that promises to spend millions of pounds on improvements on the network, it was announced yesterday.

From November, passengers travelling on the line that also calls at Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester will board a new-look East Midlands Connect carriage, complete with new livery and logo.

The network covered by the new franchise has been redrawn and encompasses main line services from London St Pancras, regional rail services in the East Midlands area and the Norwich to Liverpool Lime Street service previously run by Central Trains.

The company plans to invest millions in station and train improvements within the network, including refurbishments, more CCTV cameras, more car park spaces and improved journey times.

There will also be a closer partnership with Network Rail to improve train performance, and the creation of a new integrated control centre where colleagues from each organisation will sit alongside each other to run the train service.

Ian Dobbs, chief executive of Stagecoach Rail Division, which runs East Midlands Trains, said: “We are really excited about creating this brand new train company for the East Midlands and the wider region.

Most Read

“It will bring better harmony between the regional and mainline train services, and link in to the revamped St Pancras station, which will also be home to Eurostar from November.

“We have lots of plans to improve the travelling experience for passengers, and will bring the expertise we have in running our other train company South West Trains to this new business.”

East Midlands will take over the network from November 11 after defeating rival bids from Arriva, First and National Express Group.

A spokesman said Norwich passengers could expect a faster service between Nottingham and Sheffield, refurbished trains and better security.

Rail workers who refused to work overtime on Sunday led to a collapse in rail services between Norwich and Manchester.

Central Trains was forced to replace all 12 scheduled services with buses after failing to find enough volunteers to work overtime at connecting stations.

A company spokesman said it expected services to run normally this Sunday.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter