Train qual­ity is main con­cern for East Mid­lands Trains pas­sen­gers

Rail (UK) - - News -

The age and qual­ity of rolling stock on East Mid­lands Trains (EMT) is pas­sen­gers’ sin­gle big­gest area of con­cern, ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted by Trans­port Fo­cus as part of the con­sul­ta­tion into the next East Mid­lands fran­chise.

TF found that while im­pres­sions of EMT were pos­i­tive over­all, pas­sen­gers de­scribed the in­te­rior de­sign across its fleet as “ba­sic”, and con­trasted the rolling stock with that of Vir­gin Trains and Lon­don Mid­land, which op­er­ate over parts of the EMT net­work.

The clean­li­ness of train in­te­ri­ors was also crit­i­cised, with sat­is­fac­tion rates of 74% on lo­cal routes and 86% on long-dis­tance ser­vices. Sat­is­fac­tion for toi­let fa­cil­i­ties was 50% on lo­cal routes and 55% on Lon­don trains.

In­creas­ingly, pas­sen­gers re­gard free wire­less in­ter­net and plug sock­ets as es­sen­tials - in­ter­net ac­cess is re­garded as the third­high­est pri­or­ity for im­prove­ment, be­hind value for money and get­ting a seat.

Value for money sat­is­fac­tion is at 66% for lo­cal jour­neys, 58% for Liver­pool-Nor­wich, and 42% for Lon­don ser­vices. The lat­ter fig­ure com­pares with a na­tional av­er­age from the Na­tional Rail Pas­sen­ger Sur­vey of 58% for long-dis­tance op­er­a­tors.

TF’s re­search iden­ti­fied four ar­eas for im­prove­ment in the next East Mid­lands fran­chise: ca­pac­ity and ser­vice fre­quency; bet­ter rolling stock and sta­tions; im­proved on-board ex­pe­ri­ence; and bet­ter value for money.

“East Mid­lands Trains pas­sen­gers have a de­pend­able ser­vice that de­liv­ers the ba­sics well,” said TF Chief Ex­ec­u­tive An­thony Smith.

“Pas­sen­gers have seen what other train com­pa­nies pro­vide, which has raised their ex­pec­ta­tions. They want more mod­ern trains, with free WiFi and power sock­ets as stan­dard, and im­prove­ments to cater­ing and toi­let fa­cil­i­ties on the train. The com­pe­ti­tion for the next fran­chise must seize the op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide an out­stand­ing jour­ney for rail pas­sen­gers in the East Mid­lands.”

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