Nottingham City Council Leader Cllr David Mellen welcomed the first train in the East Midlands Railway livery to arrive in Nottingham yesterday (Monday 19 August).
Operator Abellio has taken over the running of the franchise, promising £600m investment in improvements to rail services across the region.
This is set to include new trains, more services and faster journeys.
Cllr Mellen said: “Nottingham is well known for its world class public transport network, and we welcome Abellio becoming a vital component of this.
“The southside of Nottingham is undergoing large scale regeneration, supported by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Intu and the City Council. Around £250m is being invested in Broadmarsh, along with a new Skills Hub, offices, housing, retail and recreational space. We’re also looking ahead to the reopening of the castle in 2021.
“With all this development comes many more jobs, more visitors, and more investment. As one of the busiest gateways into the city, Nottingham Station and the East Midlands Railway has an important role to play in this regeneration and in delivering new visitors and workers to our city.
“Improved service frequency and faster journeys will make travelling by rail even more attractive, helping the region to keep pace with record demand and creating capacity for even more growth.
“Better connectivity to our neighbouring cities of Derby, Leicester and Sheffield is important to us as well as our link to the capital. We are looking forward to a modernised, faster, cleaner fleet of trains, with air conditioning and wi-fi, providing a more attractive experience for passengers.
“To fully realise the city’s potential, we need transport that supports our economic growth, but also reduces harmful air pollution and carbon emissions. Rail clearly has a vital role to play. We however continue to be frustrated that the Government still has not committed to the electrification of the Midland Mainline all the way to Nottingham and we trust we can work with Abellio to continue to campaign for this essential investment.”
Nearly eight million people pass through Nottingham Station every year.
The City Council fed into the tender process with its priorities for the franchise, including ‘Nottingham in Ninety’ – the aspiration for a 90 minute journey time to London – along with improved local commuter services.
For more information visit East Midlands Railway.