Luton Airport Express

The Big Regional Refurb: EMR announce start of £60 million project to revamp regional fleet

  • £60 million programme to revamp EMR's Connect and Regional fleet has begun
  • Programme will see Class 360, Class 158 and Class 170 trains refurbished 

East Midlands Railway (EMR) has announced the start of a £60 million programme to refurbish its fleet of Class 360, Class 158 and Class 170 trains.

The project is being delivered in partnership with Angel Trains, Siemens, Porterbrook, and Eversholt and leverages significant private sector investment.

All the work will be carried out in the UK providing a significant boost to the supply chain.

Together with the introduction of the new Aurora Intercity trains, this will mean that all of EMR’s trains will either be replaced with new trains or refurbished.

EMR’s electric Class 360 fleet operates EMR Connect and Luton Airport Express services between Corby and London St Pancras stopping at Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway.

The trains will be upgraded to provide better facilities for commuter, leisure and airport passengers including new 2+2 seating throughout the trains in a mixture of airline style and bay seats, luggage racks, charging points and new passenger information systems.

EMR’s Class 170 fleet operates regional services across the East Midlands including, Matlock to Derby and Nottingham, Nottingham to Worksop via Mansfield, Newark Castle to Crewe via Nottingham, Derby and Stoke-On-Trent, Peterborough to Doncaster via Lincoln, Nottingham to Skegness via Grantham, Cleethorpes to Leicester via Lincoln and Nottingham, and Cleethorpes to Barton on Humber.

Class 170

The trains have come to EMR from different operators and will be upgraded to provide a consistent customer experience across the fleet.  All trains will receive new seat foams and covers, an extensive refresh as well as new passenger information systems and CCTV. 

EMR's Class 158 fleet mainly operates on the Liverpool to Norwich route via Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield. The trains will receive new seat covers and foams, an interior refresh and CCTV.


Will Rogers, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway, said: "This multi-million-pound investment into our Connect and Regional fleets is fantastic news for our customers and the regions we serve.

"The refurbishment will redefine the travel experience across every corner of our network. Be it commuters, leisure travellers or airport passengers, this investment will be transformative - offering them more convenience, comfort and better facilities.

"'It is also great news for the country's rail industry, with all the work being carried out by UK companies.

"Combined with the up and coming introduction of our Intercity Aurora fleet - it will mean every train we operate will either be new or refurbished."

Huw Merriman, Rail Minister, said: “This refurbishment programme will provide a boost to the UK rail industry and is great news for passengers, who will soon benefit from significantly more enjoyable journeys across the EMR network on new and improved trains.

“This kind of investment is crucial as we continue to modernise our railways, enhancing the passenger experience for millions of people and attracting more people to travel by rail.”

Paul Sutherland, Client Services Director at Eversholt Rail, said:  “We are delighted to be working in partnership with East Midlands Railway to improve our fleet.  Our investment in the upgrade of Class 170 fleet will enhance the passenger experience for EMR’s customers."

Ben Ackroyd, Porterbrook’s Chief Operating Officer, said: "Our fleets have been serving passengers on regional EMR routes for several years. We’re pleased to be investing further in these trains to provide an even better on-board experience for their customers for many years to come.”

Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, said: “Angel Trains is pleased to share that £28m is being invested in our Class 360 fleet. This refurbishment, carried out in partnership with East Midlands Railway and Siemens, will completely transform the passenger environment, providing a comfortable, connected and enjoyable travel experience.

“As part of our continual investment in our trains, we are also actively working with East Midlands Railway to refresh and enhance our Class 158 fleet.”

Matt Colclough, Customer Services Operations Director, Siemens Mobility UK&I said: ‘The Siemens Mobility teams both at Bedford and Northampton are extremely excited about the investment into the 360 fleet, and are busy mobilising to complete the upgrades which will deliver both enhancements to the passenger environments, and technology to transform the passenger journey."

Sir Peter Soulsby, Chair of Transport for the East Midlands and City Mayor of Leicester, said: "The refurbishment of EMR's regional and commuter services has been a TfEM priority for some time, so we are delighted that this investment is now going ahead.

"The refurbishments to these trains, with improved interiors and critical technology modernisation, will benefit all East Midlands rail communities and further strengthen the appeal of rail as a travel option."

Further details of the upgrades will be shared as the designs are finalised.

Contact Information

East Midlands Railway Press Office