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Government announces new East Midlands rail franchise operator for services in Spalding linking Lincoln and Peterborough




Rail services in Spalding are to change hands after the Government's announcement of a new operator for the region.

Dutch-owned firm Abellio has won the franchise for the Lincoln-Peterborough line, which serves Spalding, currently run by Stagecoach-owned East Midlands Trains.

Among the franchises Abellio operates at the moment are East Anglia, West Midlands Rail, London Northwestern and Merseyrail.

George Scott, chairman of Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG121116-930TW.
George Scott, chairman of Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG121116-930TW.

Abellio will take over on August 18, but Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum chairman George Scott wants to know more about Abellio.

Mr Scott said: "The Forum will be making contact with Abellio to see what services it will provide and how they will benefit the Spalding community.

"Is it going to employ the existing staff of East Midlands Trains, or will it just be a case of re-labelling train carriages?

"It will be an interesting time, but we will have to wait until Abellio takes over the franchise."

East Midlands Trains has lost the franchise for the Lincoln to Peterborough rail service which serves Spalding.
East Midlands Trains has lost the franchise for the Lincoln to Peterborough rail service which serves Spalding.

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transport at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The council has worked closely with Transport for the East Midlands and other East Midlands local authorities to secure the best deal possible for the region as a whole.

"There is a lot of good news for the county and it looks like the new franchise will introduce a lot of the improvements we have been calling for.

"Among them are plans to improvement services between Lincoln and Peterborough, of particular benefit for passengers using Spalding and Sleaford Rail Stations, as well as the smaller stations on that route, Metheringham and Ruskington."

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transport, Lincolnshire County Council. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-200219-007TW
Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transport, Lincolnshire County Council. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-200219-007TW

"There has been good growth in rail use across the county in recent years and it is important that rail services adapt to meet that increasing demand.

"This announcement appears to be a step in the right direction."

Dominic Booth, managing director of Abellio UK, said: "Closer collaboration between East Midlands Railway and Network Rail will ensure that track and train services are aligned to deliver vital enhancements to infrastructure and to put the interests of passengers first.

"Therefore, we look forward to this franchise driving economic growth and delivering significant benefits for passengers."



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