Abellio has been announced as the successful bidder to run services on the East Midlands Railway from August 2019 until 2027 passengers to benefit from new trains with more peak-time seats, reduced journey times, and over £17 million of station improvements action on delivering more environmentally-friendly services, with a commitment to trials of hydrogen fuel cell trains and zero-carbon station pilots Abellio will also oversee the introduction of: The East Midlands Railway will also be at the forefront of the government’s commitment to deliver a cleaner, greener rail network. Abellio will trial hydrogen fuel cell trains on the Midland Main Line and will run zero-carbon pilots at 6 stations along the route.Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: Abellio is proud to have been selected as the Winning Bidder for the East Midlands franchise. We look forward to this franchise driving economic growth and delivering significant benefits for passengers. Abellio will invest £600 million in improvements to trains and stations, maximising the effect of the government’s £1.5 billion upgrade of the Midland Main Line, to make journeys easier, more reliable and comfortable for our passengers. Closer collaboration between East Midlands Railway and Network Rail will ensure that track and train are aligned to deliver vital enhancements to infrastructure and to put the interests of passengers first. Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Rail media enquiries more flexible and convenient smart ticketing options free wifi and high quality mobile connectivity on board services improved delay repay compensation for all passengers a stations improvement fund of £16.8 million, including £6.9 million for accessibility improvements £9.4 million of investment to deliver commercial and customer service improvements at stations 916 extra car park spaces and 1,050 cycle spaces ticket buying facilities in place at all stations Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK, said: Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 The government is investing nearly £48 billion over the next 5 years to modernise the railway, including more than £1.5 billion to upgrade the Midland Main Line, the biggest upgrade of the line since it was completed in 1870.Alongside this, there is a root-and-branch review of the railway underway, independently chaired by Keith Williams. This will make ambitious recommendations before the end of the year to reform the structure of the whole rail industry to prioritise passengers’ and taxpayers’ interests.The next East Midlands Railway franchise and the ongoing competitions include significant improvements for passengers and steps to bring track and train closer together. From 2020 further reforms, advised by the Rail Review, will be rolled out across the country. These will be guided by the approaches that deliver benefits to passengers soonest. Awarding the new East Midlands franchise is part of that strategy. Abellio has today (10 April 2019) been announced as the successful bidder to operate the East Midlands Railway franchise, responsible for delivering new trains, smart ticketing and more frequent services for passengers.Abellio will oversee the introduction of brand-new trains, entirely replacing the existing intercity fleet with more reliable and comfortable trains. Passengers will benefit from an 80% increase in the number of morning peak seats into Nottingham, Lincoln and St Pancras.Passengers will also see faster journey times over long-distances, a new express service from Corby through Luton into London, the introduction of improved delay repay compensation and flexipass tickets to provide better value fares. Switchboard 0300 330 3000 Improving the experience for passengers is at the heart of this new franchise. Abellio will deliver state-of-the-art new trains, upgraded ticketing systems and improvements to stations. Through zero-carbon pilot schemes, trialling hydrogen fuel cell trains and delivering more seats on modern, spacious trains, the new franchise will also play a major role in building a railway fit for the future. View our interactive map about the franchise improvements.
Coming off two hard-fought losses to No. 19 Pepperdine and No. 14 UCLA during their west coast road trip last week, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team (2-2) will look to rebound with a pair of home games against Loyola Chicago Friday and Illinois State Sunday.Game 1: Loyola Chicago (2-1-1), Friday at 7 p.m.What to Watch for: Unfamiliar TerritoryThe opening game of the home stand finds the Badgers in the midst of their first losing streak since late in the 2013-14 season, when the team lost consecutive conference matches to Minnesota and Indiana. A third consecutive loss would put Wisconsin less than .500 for the first time since their 2011-12 campaign, in which they dropped their season opener to Notre Dame.A balanced offensive approach for UW: Part of Wisconsin’s inconsistencies on offense this season can be traced back to a lack of production from the forward position thus far. All five goals scored by the team have been credited to the attacking efforts of veteran midfielders Rose Lavelle and McKenna Meuer. Look for the forwards to cut down on turnovers and get themselves in better position to score from up top, alleviating the pressure on their midfielders.Neutralizing Loyola’s freshman forwards: Similar to UW, Loyola’s offense has also scored five goals in four games, but this effort has been led by the freshman scoring tandem of Jenna Szczesny and Claire Oberle, each contributing two goals already this season. Look for Wisconsin’s back line, anchored by seniors Brianna Stelzer and Molly Laufenberg, to use experience to their advantage and force the rising stars into taking low-percentage shots and getting less-proven contributors involved on the attack.Game 2: Illinois State (1-3) Sunday at 1 p.m.What to watch for: Big Ten Blues?The Illinois State Redbirds kicked off their season with a Columbus, Ohio, road trip, taking on Wisconsin’s Big Ten rival, Ohio State. What followed was a four-goal defeat at the hands of the Buckeyes, where the Redbird defense was drummed to the beat of 14 shots and four goals in the opening 35 minutes, culminating in a 2-6 defeat. The team then followed up with a one-goal shutout loss to the Illini at home, extending their Big Ten losing streak to seven. Illinois State’s last win against Big Ten competition was a 2-1 overtime victory over Northwestern in the 2011-12 season.Continued poise from Caitlyn Clem: In her first four games as the starting goalkeeper for the Badgers, Caitlyn Clem has endured a trial-by-fire, facing two of the nation’s top offenses on the west coast trip. Despite team losses to both Pepperdine and UCLA, Clem held up her end, totaling five and seven saves against each opponent respectively. While the attacking efforts of Illinois State may be underwhelming in comparison, Clem still needs to keep her mental edge and sharpness in the box to avoid any chance of a Redbird upset.An offense without a star: Ironically enough, the top scorers last season for each team (Cara Walls for Wisconsin and Rachel Tejada for Illinois State) were both drafted as forwards by The Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL this season. Tejada’s departure has since left the Redbirds struggling to find their next offensive star as they pursue a third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Look for Wisconsin’s defense to capitalize on a rare rebuilding period for the typically dominant Illinois State offense, currently averaging just 1.25 goals per game after last season’s mark of 2.64.