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East Midland Trains

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East Midlands Trains (EMT) is a train operating company operating in the United Kingdom, providing train services in the East Midlands and surrounding areas, chiefly in the counties of South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire. Their franchise, which began 11 November 2007, was formed through the amalgamation of the former Midland Mainline, who operated inter-city services from London to Yorkshire and the Humber, and the eastern side of Central Trains.

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    12 Reviews
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      05.11.2013 15:35

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      Poor value for money

      Myself and my wife often use this train service to travel from Skegness to Nottingham there is literally one train service and one train so we cannot choose another provider. The only reason we even use the train is so we do not have to drive there to attempt to find a parking space etc. when we have a little holiday we want to try and eliminate as much stress as possible although this often does not work. For one I just wish the price would stop going up, it costs almost £29 return for a straight through train. Actually we live near the halfway point on the line but would only save £7 by getting on here so after parking fees it makes no sense. The cost is ridiculous when the trains are dirty and very old fashioned, most still with opening windows and no air conditioning. Our latest issue was the train having a dirty wheel so we were all thrown out in the freezing cold to wait 50 minutes for the next train which was packed having to hold two trains worth of passengers (I am still awaiting compensation for this). The toilets are absolutely filthy to the point that enamel coating is peeling off making them uncleanable and a health hazard. There is always rubbish and gum lining the trains but there is never a bin to be seen down the length of a carriage. Equally there are signs saying not to play music as to disturb other passengers but a word is never uttered to those blasting RAP and other types of music not conducive to relaxing. We have witnessed people getting on and not being checked for tickets from one stop to another which is annoying as on one journey we was asked for tickets 3 times from the same person, however, other people can get away with not paying for their journey. There are no snacks or refreshments of any kind upon the train even though we are all stuck on it for over two hours, the train does not stop long enough at any station and most have no facilities anyway. This means carrying more stuff for the train than we already have. If I could find a better more convenient way to get to Nottingham I would not use these trains again but as we live in Lincolnshire there is only one line that goes to Nottingham.

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      01.03.2011 12:46

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      Make sure when you book, you don't make a single mistake

      I needed to change the day of travel from 7/03 to 9/03. A silly mistake i realised after i had paid. I had bought a return ticket for £31 including plus bus. On their website they charge £10 per ticket change. When i called on 0871 number they asked me to call an 0845 number who then asked me to call 0870 number. I used my mobile because I just wanted to get it out of the way quickily total of calls was 14minutes. During the final call the lady said the charge is £20 instead of £10 because it is a return ticket. She asked me to return the old ticket by recorded delivery for a refund of £8. Considering all the costs involved=£27. I am infact getting back only £4 refund and i have to buy a new ticket. To me this is a total rip off and I am sooooooo upset by it all.

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      08.05.2010 13:56
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      good trains

      I recently went to london for the weekend as I am sure you will be able to tell by the theme of my latest reviews, we were going to drive and park outide of london to get an overland in, but when we looked at trains they were actually quite cheap. Living in Nottingham we went using East Midlands trains and it was very easy. We booked on the trainline website, picked the tickets up from a different station and with railcards, we paid £43 for both o us return to london. We obviously picked the cheapest times but this wasn't bad for a bank holiday weekend. The train we had to get first was 10 minutes late and we were worried we were going to miss our connecting train, and the prebooked tickets are only for the spcified trains. The ticket man on the train was so so helpful though, couldn't hav praised him more highly. He helped us, tol us where were needed to go for the next train, wrote on our tickets incase we did miss it and had problems, and when the train had made up some of the time, he came back and told us we would probably be fine. What a brill guy. The trains were clean and fast, I think we got into london in about 2 and a half hours with a fw chanes so that wasn't bad. The changes also were only at max 15 minutes to wait in the stations which was good too. We got straight into London st Pancras right on time and on the way back, east midlands trains were very well signposted which is brill in such a massive busy station like St Pancras. The seat reservations we had made were good, no one was in our seats and they were checked along with our tickets. It was nice to have seats reserved (and also free to do this) as I wouldn't have wanted to stand the whole way! The toilets on the trains were ok, standard for trains really but they were clean and tidy and well stocked with things like loo roll and paper towels. The train down to London also had a buffet car but we didn't look at it as we allready had food with us. On the trains were a few magazines about the local areas the service goes to which was alright but I only looked at it because I was really bored and my boyfriend was asleep! I think this service is pretty good, easy to use and fast and efficient with good staff, I would use them again for sure.

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      20.04.2010 20:49
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      As far as train companies go I suppose it's not bad!

      Living in Sheffield our train station is served by East Midlands trains for going down to London. We usually make this trip 2 or 3 times a year, usually for football but recently we travelled to Heathrow and took the train and I went on a day trip to see a show. The reason I've stated my reasons for going is because you definitely experience a different experience on a train depending on when you go!! Experience: Last year I think all my trips were for football and although personally me and my husband are not your hooligan type travelling on a train, we know what can occur and if it does I feel really sorry for your ordinary people on the train!! 9 times out of 10 if you travel on a train when there is football on (most Saturdays!) you will not even notice it, and most people travelling are courteous and aware of people around them. You do get the odd few that can spoil it for others - the big groups that think it's clever to get other people involved in their 'games' and this can make people feel uncomfortable (it does me and I'm normally going to the same place as they are!). You can always move to another carriage and if they get too rowdy you can always speak to the guard. I've never seen any major trouble on a train and you generally find that there are more police around the stations and sometimes on the trains so you still feel perfectly safe. They do seem to have it pretty sorted for coping with groups. So that's good! The two trips this year have been on weekdays, one was a day trip and one was travelling down on a Friday night and back on a Thursday lunchtime. Both of these, although busy were reasonably quiet. One thing that does annoy me on a train is the lack of luggage space. Every single train I have been on the luggage racks are always overflowing and spill over into the aisles and people end up squashing cases in other areas of the carriage. Just a couple more luggage racks and the problem would be rectified! Prices: The pricing structure for trains have supposedly been simplified over the last year - I don't really agree! I don't think I've ever paid the same price for a train fare ever! Advance fares are supposedly available 3 months before but realistically it can be anywhere from 2 to 3 months and it is really luck whether you are checking when they are released! If you get a cheap advance fare I think the train is a good value for money mode of transport. For my day trip to London I paid £10 return - this is the cheapest I have ever got it! For our trip to Heathrow we paid £34 return each. The most we have paid was when we booked tickets about 3 years ago a week before travelling and it cost us £108 return for 2 people....I dread tot hink whatt he fare would be a week before now! Buffet: We very rarely get food or drinks from the buffet car and instead choose to take something on the train with us. The odd time we have got something it has been reasonably quality but extremely expensive! Trains: Our route has recently received quite a few new trains and I have to say this has greatly improved the comfort onboard the trains. The old style trains were getting quite grubby and rickety. The new trains are kept quite clean - considering the amount they are used! Even in standard class you now have access to a plug which can be handy for people with laptops/charging up phones etc. First class: We have only travelled first class once on East midlands trains. This was because it was actually the same price as travelling standard class and to be honest I really didn't see much difference. Slightly bigger seats and the general atmosphere better and quieter. However we travelled in an evening and were never offered any food or drink for free, I had been told you could get tea, coffee, biscuits etc but this was never offered. I'm not sure if we could have got it from the buffet car but it definitely wasn't advertised. So, I don't think I would pay a lot extra to go first class - if I knew the train was going to be really busy, I may pay a bit extra for a bit more comfort but it wouldn't be a lot! Overall: Unless I travel to Doncaster, East Midlands trains is really my only option for travelling to London, I wouldn't say there is anything special about them but there isn't anything bad either! As a train company they serve our line pretty well, with 2 trains an hour to London and if you book in advance the prices aren't too bad!

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        04.10.2009 16:52
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        A reasonable service provided at a high price.

        East Midlands Trains (EMT) is a train operating company. Apart from the East Midlands, they also serve the cities along the Midland Main Line and also the South and West Yorkshire. --- the BASICS --- East Midlands Trains is a new train operating company, estalished in November 2007. They took over from the old Midland Mainline (MML) and also some routes of the old Central Trains. Their colours are yellow, red, white and blue - in accordance with its parent company (Stagecoach plc). The same livery can also be found on SouthWest Trains. --- its ROUTES ---- [old MML routes] London - Corby (extension to Melton Mowbray) London - Nottingham (extension to Lincoln) London - Derby London - Derby - Sheffield London - Sheffield - Leeds (extension to York) [old Central Train routes] Derby - Matlock (now Nottingham - Matlock) Nottingham - Liverpool Nottingham - Mansfield Woodhouse Derby - Crewe Newark - Cleethorpes Peterborough - Doncaster Nottingham - Skegness Leicester - Lincoln --- its TRAINS --- The trains that run the Mainland Main Line routes are the Class 43 HSTs, or Class 222 Meridians. They both have first class facilities. The Class 222 also have a shop/buffet counter, power point for laptops/mobile phone charging and electronic signs above each seats to indicate reservation. The trains that run the other routes are Class 153/156 Super Sprinter, or Class 158 Express Sprinter trains. They have no first class facilities. --- its STATIONS --- The main stations EMT is responsible for include London St Pancras, Luton Airport Parkway, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield. Most of the main stations have ticket barriers which aims to deter passengers travelling without a ticket. --- the TICKETS --- The tickets are inline with all other train operating companies - which means there are only 3 - Advanced, Off-peak, and Anytime. Fares at set to increase 3.8% + inflation per year. As it is operated by EMT, there is also the Megatrain service which means potentially one can book £1 single fares from Derby/Nottingam/Leicester to London by train. --- CONCLUSION --- EMT is a fairly new train company with a wide coverage across the East Midlands and even parts outside. Their train are not the most punctual even though they claim 94% of their trains arrive on time. They sometimes operate trains that are inappropriately arranged - e.g. I once boarded a train (with one car, I might add) which was standing from front to back at 5pm, and also witnessed a three car train which was completely empty at 5am. But considering there is not much alternative to long-distance travel short of coach or driving - EMT isn't that bad!

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          23.09.2009 11:55
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          A very poor service

          This is my chance to get something of my chest, I travel on the laughably poor 7.35 East Midlands train from Sheffield to Manchester and catch the returning one at 4.42. Thats the bald facts for this shocking train service, now Sheffield and Manchester are if facts don't lie two of the biggest cities in England and many people might want to travel between the two of them? Yet the service offered by East Midlands on this train is little more than a sick and steadily less funny joke. So whats my gripe? Well this is intrinsically the train from Norwich to Liverpool so travels through the East part of England before hitting Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester and finally Liverpool. I'm sure you'd agree these are big cities with plenty of commuters, yet the trains are chronically underperforming. The normal service for the train between Sheffield and Manchester is a four carriage train, with space for bicycles and a food/drinks trolley - what do we get? Well two carriages is becoming a norm rather than a exception for the service to Manchester and so far in the two years of catching the train back yet to be anything else for the return. Now these are trains at peak times, commuting times and whilst a lot of people get off at Sheffield and I normally get a seat but if your unfortunate to get on at Dore or Chinley which are between Sheffield and Manchester then the chances of a seat are very slim!! The train then stops for some reason at Hazel GRove and we enter a whole new world of train experience, cramped yes unbelievably dangerously so, this is a journey no one wants to experience. There are people standing from this point on till we get to Manchester, thats twenty minutes minimum in close proximity to everyone else, people sometimes can't get to the exit when the train gets to Stockport and certainly getting on is near impossible. Yet, we are told time and time again the old lie that the train failed to meet another train at Nottingham and is therefore a two carriage rather than a four. This is pathetic, and when I see the sleek modern East Midland trains doing the run from Sheffield down to London the reason for the companies lack of interest in the run from Norwich to Liverpool is obvious. So please can East Midlands do something about the service? The only good thing is it runs on time but do we have to put up with being treated little better than cattle? The answer should be no and no again but the promises when they took over from Central appear nothing more than that promises and I havent even mentioned the state of the trains themselves, very decrepid but I can live with that if there was 4 carriages each way. East midlands sort it out!!!

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            28.07.2009 00:41
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            The routes this company serves require EMT to give abit of TLC to its flight

            Used East Midlands Trains last week to travel from East Midlands Parkway station to St. Pancras. We had booked online with the maximum notice we could which is three months through the trainline.com via topcashback for a start, that coupled with using our family railcard meant that the journey (as a return) for the 3 of us was £85, as we were away for 3 days the cost of the congetion charge and parking fees and fuel meant the car would have cost more. Booking with this much notice meant for some reason we could not reserve seats but the website did advise that we could call nearer the time to book seats. This I did but only received the seat reservation tickets for our outward bound journey. Ironically if I hadn't of called I wouldn't have been aware that there were engineering works on the line and infact our train for the return journey had been cancelled and we were re-scheduled for a slightly earlier train. Bit odd that you book with an email and mobile number but they don't communicate on these matters. On the day we travelled down I was grateful we had travelled off peak. Although we had reserved seats there were people in our seats when we boarded the train, we luckily were able to sit elsewhere in the carriage. I felt East Midland Trains did not adequately police the allocation of reserved seating. The trains themselves are pretty much on a par with the pendelino's on the West Coast, but there cold coloured livery leaves them feeling a bit stark, and they need cleaning abit more. For the return joureny we were advised that there nobody to open / operate the buffet car facilities - then eventually somebody was found but the service was only for a limited period. My daughter required to go to the toilet and in the end I had to guard the door as it wouldn't close and inside the toilet was though a battle had occurred. I ended up having to dash back to get some napkins as the toilet roll had run out. Everything just needs abit more TLC and the whole service would be greatly improved.

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              20.01.2009 11:53
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              A series of unwise decisions needs to be examined, or else a good franchise could go very bad.

              Britain has two (relatively) high speed mainline railways that run from London up the east and west coasts of the country. In between these two is the under-appreciated, under-resourced and frequently overlooked Midland Main Line (not to be confused with the former train operator of the same name), the railway that connects the cities of Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Bedford and Luton with London St. Pancras. Over this line the principal passenger train operator is the Stagecoach-owned East Midlands Trains (EMT), who were awarded the franchise to run trains from 2007 to 2015. They replaced the company Midland Mainline, who had been the incumbent operator since British Rail was privatised. In addition to this "Mainline" route (dubbed Route 1 by EMT, which includes additional spurs to Burton-on-Trent, a new station in Corby, and a few daily services Leeds), East Midlands Trains have also taken on responsibility for half of the former Central Trains franchise. This part of their franchise has been sub-branded as East Midlands Trains Connect (emphasising that is anything but a mainline) running cross-country trains between Liverpool & Norwich (route 2) and local trains around the East Midlands (route 3). The character, strengths and weaknesses of EMT are different for the different routes: beware reviews, comments or complaints about EMT in general, because each part is different. On the Mainline, EMT run two kinds of trains: the venerable diesel HST 125 and the more modern Meridian diesel multiple unit. As part of their new franchise commitments, changes have come to the former Midland Mainline franchise, with plans for two trains an hour and faster journey times on the core route between Sheffield and London St. Pancras. However this has meant re-organising the fleet so that the newer (but shorter) Meridians serve almost all trains from Sheffield to London, and HSTs concentrate on the Nottingham - London route. Nottingham is on a triangular spur off the mainline between London and Sheffield: beware any train between these two cities that stops at Nottingham, because your journey will be substantially longer as it backtracks to make this stop. Problematically, there are now fewer carriages per day between London and Sheffield, although there are more services. Of particular concern at the start of 2009 is the fact that the flagship named train "The Master Cutler" - once a Pullman train with an extra first class carriage - now leaves Sheffield for London with substantially fewer seats, especially in first class. Extremely valuable high fare business passengers have actually been forced to stand on this key route into London because longer HST trains have been downgraded to the newer Meridians. On Route 2, the core East Midlands Connect line, things aren't much better. Neither Central Trains nor British Rail before them had much luck providing adequate service on this vital cross-country route between Liverpool, Manchester, Stockport, Sheffield, Nottingham, Grantham, Peterborough, Ely and Norwich. End to end it takes about five hours, and carries a mix of long distance, local and commuting passengers. Ever since the days of British Rail, this service has been operated by one, two or three carriage diesel multiple units. Before EMT took the franchise, the Department for Transport split the fleet and removed both newer trains and the third carriage of the remaining fleet for other franchises. Not only are trains on this route rarely more than two coaches long, there is precious little slack in the system for maintenance, with only two units spare at any one time for maintenance or back-up. Overcrowding is common, and to make matters worse, the 2008 announcement by the Department for Transport to order 1300 new carriages for the National Rail network has assigned just three new carriages to the entire EMT franchise. This route is in bad shape, and is not expected to get better soon. Local routes in the East Midlands (EMT route 3) radiate from Nottingham and Derby, serving local stations on branch lines. These routes also suffer from some intense rush hour overcrowding, often because single or dual carriage railcars are all that is available to run the trains. On winning their franchise, East Midlands Trains announced many heralded improvements, including reduced journey times and some refurbished or reformed trains. While the intensively used cross-country fleet is getting a much needed refurbishment (in which luggage space is being sacrificed for more seats), this is happening at a snail's pace and is not solving the key problem, which is a lack of capacity. On the mainline, attempts to use the slightly faster new Meridian trains to speed up services between Sheffield and London (the fastest now manages it in about an hour) the changes have seen the much longer and more spacious HST trains disappear from key services. Overcrowding on certain services not only continues, it is now an issue where it was not before. Additional changes such as replacing walk-up buffet counters on mainline trains with trolleys have also been fraught with problems and complaints. The next six years of this franchise promise to be interesting, but to passengers who - like me - have used EMT for long distance journeys, my advice is simple. Book ahead not only for cheaper tickets, but also to reserve a seat. Travel light, since luggage space is extremely inadequate on all but the HST trains. And research alternative routes that may be more comfortable: i.e. Sheffield to London via Doncaster; Liverpool to Norwich via London.

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              20.01.2009 00:16

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              avoid

              I regularly use East midlands trains. In the bad and terrible black days when Midland Mainline had lost their way we suffered from cold trains with no hot water, no tea, no coffee and delays. The good news is some of those miserable journeys can be experienced again on East Midlands Trains. The joy of a journey before Xmas with a 3 year, no food available-we were on the train for 3 hours. The return had no warm drink-they forgot to take on water at Derby on the way down! it was December. Recently, January 09 twice the train service has gone one step further. Beware the "Short Formation". One train with fewer carriages. You can travel in first class and stand from London to Derby! That will be £100+ please sir. On the short formation trains ther are no ticket checks, the crew hide away. That seems sensible as otherwise they would have to explain why someone was too stupid to put the right number of carriages in the right place to provide a reasonable service. The management are obviously trying to make as much money as possible. I hope they will eventually realise they need to provide a proper service, not screw as much out of the public as possible. The train crews are lovely, care for them, their management doesn't.

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              01.12.2008 01:18
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              God service, for the price you pay.

              My partner and I travelled from St Pancras International to Manchester Oxford Road (via Sheffield) recently for an overnight stay in Manchester. We joined an ageing Intercity 125 at St Pancras for the journey north in the early morning and found the train to be very clean and well presented despite just bringing commuters in for the startof their day. The staff were polite and the announcements prior to departure helpful, including for one fellow passenger who had purchased an invalid off-peak ticket! The buffet service on the service offered a full range of stock throughout the journey, the staff must have thought I was mad asking for a whiskey at 9am (to go in my coffee - of course) but were professional and polite regardless. The ticket check was carried out properly with each railcard and season ticket requiring the relevent documents and it was good to see the staff dealing with those without tickets appropiately. We changed trains at Sheffield and joined a 4 coach train, or rather 2 trains couple together. Something suggested we might have taken a wrong turning with our train quite clearly being branded as South West Trains, something I would be accustomed to on my commute to work in the south! Again the staff were polite and this time there was a trolley service being offered. I could not really fault East Midlands on our journey, they offered all we needed without going overboard and certainly worth what we paid for the service.

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              09.10.2008 17:44
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              Cheap days out if you don't midn a bit of noise..

              Last weekend my family and I decided to take a trip in the east midlands trains to Nottingham.. Prices on these trains from Boston to Nottingham was only £6 return each which is so much cheaper and easier than driving and to be fair more relaxing knowing you don't have to worry about getting to your parking space and out of the car park in time..! So to be fair these trains in an economy seat are not made to be the most comfy thing, you get what you pay for as they say.. And that is just what you get.. There is four sets of table seats in each carriage and if you get one as a family of four as we were than you are lucky because mostly one person takes four seats.. Which is a little selfish I think.. However.. The trains themselves run on time from Boston to Nottingham they leave dead on time or a few minutes before and stop of at the designated stops at around the right times. The noise on the trains can be a bit unbearable at times it is quite loud and usually slightly bumpy even though the tracks are fairly even.. Except when you get to Grantham you do feel like the train is about to fall off the tracks as you go round a tight bend!! The ticket ladies are somewhat bored looking of walking up and down platforms every stop but that's their job..!

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              13.04.2008 12:06
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              Review of the East Midlands Train's Connect service.

              The Connect service (ie the regional service) hasn't shown any great improvement since they took over half of the Central Trains franchise in November 2007. In fact, you could still think that you're travelling on Central Trains. A lot of the trains used on the Connect services have still yet to be repainted in the new livery, so on the platform, the chances are, you'll still end up on a green, blue and white train with the "Central Trains" wording peeled off. In fairness, as they've inherited most of the rolling stock, it couldn't be an overnight job to get that sorted. The trains that have been repainted do look very smart; even the older rolling stock. What could have been was their staff's uniforms. Many of them still work in the old Central Trains jackets and jumpers which personally, doesn't fill me with great confidence in the company. If East Midland Trains are unable to supply their front-line staff with properly branded clothing after nearly 6 months, they must financially be up against it, and that could quite easily impact on their self-regulated fares. Non of what I've mentioned so far covers the most important bit of public transport, and that is passenger comfort. The Connect services on the whole use quite old trains. Whilst the newly painted ones have had a good job done on the outside, they're still very grotty inside. At the end of the day, the seats and floors are generally strewn with the days rubbish. I've even seen a East Midlands conductor casually throw a bit of rubbish onto the overhead luggage racks. Many of the seats are very worn and if it's only a one carriage service, there isn't enough room for more than one pushchair or pram. The front line staff do the best they can, but when it's busy, they do struggle. From what I've seen, if you buy a ticket on the train using a debit or credit card is painfully slow and is probably the same for most operating companies. On a crowded route, many passengers through no fault of their own get away without having to pay; quite probably another reason why ticket prices are soaring. I can't comment on the Mainline Service to London (formerly the Midland Mainline franchise) as I've never travelled on it. having seen the trains used, and from looking into them through the windows, East Midlands Trains seem to be a lot better than their predecessors.

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