I have some good news for readers who use Luton airport or who reside in the northern Home Counties.
From May 16 East Midlands Railway (EMR) is introducing a Connect service which will provide more frequent journeys between London St Pancras and Corby.
— EMR (@EastMidRailway) May 5, 2021
Readers may already be aware as we covered this development briefly in February, but since then more details have become available.
These are the first electric trains to be operated by EMR, whose main services link London with the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.
However the real benefit of Connect is to provide faster and more frequent trains (running at intervals of 30 minutes) linking London St Pancras with Luton Airport (Luton Airport Parkway to be precise) and the northern Home Counties.
Interestingly EMR says that a normal weekday service will operate on Sundays after 1400. This would reflect the changing rail market which now sees growth in leisure travel.
They will be operated by Siemens 360 multiple units which have been transferred from Greater Anglia.
So the trains are not new and EMR’s pledge to refurbish some of them before service entry has not been possible.
EMR says, “We had hoped to refurbish a number of these trains before they entered service. However, as a result of Covid this has not been possible. EMR is fully committed to refurbishing these trains as swiftly as possible.”
However with any new rail timetable there will be winners and losers as we find at Wellingborough, where peak hour services have been cut.
There may also be negative feedback from some passengers regarding the onboard comfort. We await user feedback.