Abellio has officially taken over the running of the East Midlands rail franchise.
The contract will run for at least eight years and will be known as East Midlands Railway.
The company says it is investing £600 million in improvements to trains and stations.
Abellio says the new franchise will bring lots of benefits, including:
- Replacement of the entire intercity train fleet including 165 brand new intercity bi-mode carriages (33 trains) that will link cities in the North and East Midlands to London St Pancras
- Electric trains between London and Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Wellingborough, Corby, Bedford and Kettering.
- Investment of £20 million at all stations.
- More services with faster journey times on intercity routes between London St Pancras and the towns and cities of the East Midlands.
- Doubling capacity into London St Pancras to take account of growing demand for rail travel between London and England’s Economic Heartland area
- Partnership Agreements signed with HS1 Ltd which runs St Pancras Station and London Luton Airport Ltd to improve rail services and facilities for passengers, especially at St Pancras station.
Other improvements include more cycle and car parking, and smart ticketing will be rolled out by 2020.