East Midlands Railway (EMR), the Abellio-owned company that took over the franchise from East Midlands Trains on 18 August 2019, has long-term plans to replace its entire train fleet.
The first change will be the replacement of the Class 153/156/158 Super Sprinters in the Regional Trains fleet with Class 170 Bombardier Turbostars, transferred from Abellio Scotrail, West Midlands Trains and Southern (currently Class 171s that will be converted back to Class 170 by having their couplers changed – the only difference).
The first two sets have arrived with EMR and one, 170 416, has been repainted at Crofton depot, near Wakefield, by Millenium Site Services. It has now moved to Eastcroft depot, Nottingham, for staff training.
A new interior will be fitted in the coming weeks and the train is due to be in passenger service by the end of the year.
Gareth Race, fleet director (interim) at EMR, said: “As part of our plans to improve the journeys of customers right across the East Midlands and beyond, we are replacing our entire train fleet in the coming years. This includes the introduction of Class 170s to our fleet, which will also undergo a refurbishment programme in support of our regional customers. These trains will provide our passengers with better facilities and a more comfortable journey.
“The first two 170s, which will be in their EMR livery, are on their way to the East Midlands and, social distancing guidelines and lockdown permitting, will be used for training staff in the very near future. We currently expect that the trains will be in passenger service by the end of the year.”