Abellio is bringing a touch of purple to the East Midlands with its new look for East Midlands Railway.
Owned by the Dutch state-owned rail company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), Abellio has won the franchise from Stagecoach, and will take the reins from August 2019.
Abellio will completely replace the existing intercity fleet, which is currently a mix of Bombardier class 222 Meridian diesel-electric units and Paxman-powered HSTs, with a fleet of brand new bi-mode trains.
The rest of the fleet will be overhauled, whilst some of it will be replaced with hydrogen and electric-powered trains, kitted out in a deep purple-based livery.
East Midlands Railway – or EMR, as Abellio have stylised it – will be divided into three segments.
The EMR Intercity identity will be used for long-distance trains between Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester and London on the Midland Mainline, whilst EMR Regional is the new name for east-west routes and regional routes, such as Liverpool – Nottingham – Norwich. EMR Electrics will introduce a new service between London St Pancras, Luton Airport Parkway and Corby.
From the initial designs, each division will have their own subtle adaptation of the purple livery, the doors being a distinguishing feature – Intercity trains will have beige doors, Regional silver, and Electrics a subtle mint green.
It’s a far cry from Stagecoach’s Best Impressions-designed ‘swoops’ livery, which will shortly disappear from the UK rail network altogether once the current franchise ends. The new EMR identity is more aligned to what First have achieved with GWR, with a more ‘classic’ look and feel now in vogue.
What do you think about the new look Abellio will introduce? Will you miss East Midlands Trains? Let us know in the comments below.