Tuesday 12 November 2019

Ex LNER HST's to Run on East Midland's Routes

The Department for Transport has confirmed that cascaded HSTs from LNER will be the option to replace the non-compliant HST's on the East Midlands Railway. It has taken three years to decide how this problem will be solved.

 LNER HST's are about to withdrawn and sent to operate on East Midlands Services

Electrification for the East Midlands line to Sheffield was cancelled by the then Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling who said that new bi-mode trains could be used north of Wellingborough.

No new trains are in the offing however and now it has been decided to cascade the HST's from LNER to run on East Midlands tracks until new trains arrive.

The current MML’s existing HST fleet will not meet accessibility regulations that come into force from January 1 2020, so they will have to be withdrawn by the end of this year - leaving a major shortfall in the inter-city fleet.

Nine rakes of eight coach HST's owned by Porterbrook and three six coach HST's owned by Angel Trains are due to be removed from traffic.

When Abellio won the East Midlands franchise in April, the Department for Transport said that cascaded HSTs from LNER would be an option.

This has now been confirmed, with six nine-coach HSTs from Angel Trains and three eight-coach sets from Porterbrook set to temporarily join the EMR fleet, although they do not fully meet the accessibility regulations and will require heavy maintenance in the short term.

EMR Fleet Director Chris Wright said: “By December 2022, we will have replaced our entire train fleet to provide modern and accessible trains better suited to the routes they operate. That work is already well under way, but it does not happen overnight."