14 October 1997 - Midland Mainline orders more trains
Today, Midland Mainline, part of the National Express Group ("National Express"), announced that it has signed an order to lease seventeen new trains to increase the capacity on the route to nearly 40,000 seats a day and nearly double the number of services from June 1999. The train order, worth £41 million, will be financed by way of an operating lease.
Simultaneously the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) announced that National Express, owners of Midland Mainline had fulfilled the necessary requirements to secure a ten year franchise. The investment of £41 million in new trains is a clear statement of commitment beyond the basic franchise requirements. National Express Group is delighted that OPRAF has confirmed its stewardship of Midland Mainline for 10 years as a consequence.
The order for seventeen new trains will allow Midland Mainline to increase journey opportunities to and from London and stations in between. In particular, it will enable flexibility of service and better integration with its sister company, Central Trains and allow both companies to respond rapidly to the strong passenger growth they are experiencing.
Midland Mainline will also be in a position to consider expansion of the network it serves to include destinations not currently directly linked with London.
The near doubling of the service frequency on the Midland Mainline south of Nottingham and Derby will allow for shorter journey times to Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield and Leicester, served by its recently refurbished High Speed Train fleet. This service expansion will create and secure further jobs for the rail industry in the East Midlands.
Nick Brown, Midland Mainline's Managing Director was delighted with the company's achievements and said;
"This is very exciting for Midland Mainline's passengers, for the East Midlands and the Company itself. Given the rate at which we are attracting more passengers to rail it is great that we have extended the order to a total of seventeen new trains. The announcement by OPRAF means that all of the efforts the Company has put in to improving services for passengers can continue, secure in the knowledge that Midland Mainline and National Express Group will be operating the service until at least 2006.
Midland Mainline as part of the National Express Group will continue to exceed its commitments and to develop integration in passenger transport.
In particular, Midland Mainline's new train order will enable the Company to work more closely with other operators, especially Central Trains (also owned by National Express) in the East Midlands, to develop greater access to the rail network and seek to serve more destinations more frequently."
Notes to Editors
- National Express operates five rail franchises - Midland Mainline, Gatwick Express, Silverlink (formerly North London Railways), Scotrail and Central Trains.
- Midland Mainline operates services calling at Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester, Market Harborough, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton and London St Pancras.
- Midland Mainline's passenger numbers increased by 9% in the first year of its franchise to National Express and has increased by 6.5% during 1997. Central Trains have seen passenger numbers increase by as much as 10% on a number of its inter-urban routes.
- Midland Mainline has secured Track Access rights to operate its additional services from June 1999 and has recently received approval from the Rail Regulator. The agreement to run more trains was reached with Railtrack who own the infrastructure and included in a £6 million package of developments are increased track capacity at Leicester and a new platform at Bedford.
- The train order is for seventeen Class 170 Turbostar trains from Derby based Adtranz where they will be built. Each train seats 240 in both Standard and First Class accommodation and will make on average four journeys each day. The new trains will be non-smoking throughout. A full technical specification on the Turbostar train order is available on request.
|Nick Brown, Managing Director|
|Kevin Johnson, Corporate Affairs|
|Midland Mainline||Tel: 01332 262010|
|Julian Hanson-Smith, Neal Jenkins|
|Financial Dynamics||Tel: 0171 831 3113|
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