Designed in Derby - East Midlands Railway team up with city firm to create new train interiors

Monday, 19 February 2024

  • New Intercity Aurora fleet interiors designed by Derby firm
  • Boost for local supplier in city
  • Partnership builds on city’s proud railway heritage

East Midlands Railways (EMR) has chosen to work with a Derby supplier to create the interiors for its new Aurora fleet.

DGDESIGN, which is based at Friar Gate Studios, provides design services to companies all over the world and has worked with many of the world’s leading rail manufacturers and operators on products ranging from award-winning high-speed trains to innovative automated people movers.

EMR chose the local company to make sure the Aurora fleet offered passengers a calm, comfortable and accessible environment to enjoy their journey on the Midland Main Line when they enter service.

Rachel Turner, Head of New Trains at East Midlands Railway, said "DGDESIGN were the perfect partners to help EMR ensure the Aurora fleet has market-leading interiors that customers will love to relax or work in."

She said: “We are really excited to be working with DGDESIGN on this project and are eager to show our customers what exceptional ideas they have developed, in conjunction with Hitachi Rail. We are sure their combined expertise will mean our passengers will find travelling on our new Intercity fleet is as comfortable, calm and accessible as possible."

“We always try to work with local companies and support business in the regions we serve. We considered lots of companies when choosing our interior partner and it is great to work with one on our doorstep, in a city that has such a proud rail heritage.”

David Gordon, Director and owner of DGDESIGN, said he was delighted that they were selected to support East Midlands Railway in designing and developing its Aurora Fleet.

He said: “Having the opportunity to work with our local rail operator is a rare privilege and brings added excitement and pride, given that we have a more tangible connection to the positive impact that the end product can bring to our community. We are very aligned with EMR’s initiative to champion the regions and to work with local suppliers wherever possible, which brings direct added benefit to the region and showcases its capabilities to a wider national audience.

“I live and work in Derby so I will be using the new Aurora trains for business and leisure trips. It will be very exciting to take my family on the trains when they come into service and show them the train interiors that I helped design.”


EMR's new Intercity fleet will be built by Hitachi Rail in County Durham and financed by Rock Rail East Midlands. Aurora will offer significant advances on the existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors. The trains will also include features that passengers have said they want to see, including air conditioning, free WiFi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.