East Midland's Railway’s (EMR) launched its first electric service on the route between Corby and London St Pancras.
EMR anticipates the switch to electric Class 360s will reduce carbon emissions on the route by 77%.
EMR Connect comprises of eight carriage electric trains serving Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton & Luton Airport Parkway every 30 minutes on weekdays from 06:00.
Services on Sunday afternoon will include a full weekday timetable running after 14:00 – providing better access to and from London and the East Midlands.
EMR Connect will provide more seats for passengers across the region – with further late night and early morning services – and will allow the reintroduction of peak services between Wellingborough and Bedford, meaning passengers will not need to use the replacement coach service.
The new service has been possible by the delivery of the £1.5 billion Midland Main Line Upgrade by Network Rail, which includes new overhead line equipment between Bedford and Corby, as well as an additional track between Kettering and Corby.
EMR has put in place measures so passengers can travel with confidence, these include enhanced monitoring, more cleaners, sourcing powerful disinfectant products and purchasing new specialist fogging cleaning equipment.
Will Rogers, managing director of East Midlands Railway, said: "We are delighted to be able to introduce our new all-electric EMR Connect service for our passengers travelling between Corby and London St Pancras.
“It's our greenest ever fleet and will enable a significant reduction in carbon emissions and noise levels, while at the same time provide more seats, later services and a simpler and more resilient timetable. Its introduction will help to support leisure, business and tourism journeys and contribute to the region's recovery out of the pandemic.”
EMR had hoped to refurbish a number of the trains before they entered service. However, as a result of delays caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, that has unfortunately not been possible. EMR said it is fully committed to refurbish these trains as swiftly as possible.
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