Sheffield’s capital link boosted by faster and more frequent East Midlands Railway services

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

  • Quicker peak journey times
  • Consistent departures and improved Sunday afternoon service
  • New earlier and later journey options

East Midlands Railway’s (EMR) service between Sheffield and London will be quicker and more frequent when the company introduces its new timetable on Sunday 16th May.

The changes will provide more seats, quicker journeys, and a simpler and more resilient timetable for communities across its network, with earlier and later services supporting leisure, business and tourism journeys.

Passengers travelling from Sheffield are set to benefit from several specific enhancements to the current service, including quicker peak journey times to London St Pancras International and consistent departure times through the day.

Day trippers or passengers wanting more flexibility will also be able to take advantage of the new timetable which will see the first train arrive in London approximately one hour earlier than today and the last train depart approximately one hour later.

Also, EMR has designed the timetable in a way which keeps the fastest off-peak journey times to London under two hours and 15 minutes.

The new timetable will also provide passengers a wider range of options on Intercity services with the introduction of a full, weekday timetable after 2pm on Sunday. This change will make journey times and frequencies broadly comparable seven days a week and is a significant improvement for both Chesterfield and Sheffield.

The new timetable is made possible by the successful delivery of the £1.5 billion Midland Main Line Upgrade by Network Rail, working in partnership with EMR and other neighbouring train operators.

Examples of new timetable

Sheffield - London - Journey times - [old journey and time in brackets]

• 04.58 - 07.09 - 2hr 11mins [New earlier train - 1hr earlier in London]
• 05.30 - 07.39 - 2hr 9mins [was 2hr 38mins]
• 05.56 - 08.08 - 2hr 12mins [was 2hr 27mins]
• 06.30 - 08.39 - 2hr 9mins [was 2hr 31mins]
• 07.00 - 09.09 - 2hr 9mins [was 2hr 23mins]

Will Rogers, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway, said: “This new timetable represents an exciting new chapter for train services in the region and will bring significant benefits to the communities we serve, including Sheffield.

“The £1.5 billion Midland Main Line upgrade has allowed us to provide more seats, quicker journeys and a simpler, more resilient timetable.

“It has been an incredible team effort to put this timetable in place, especially during a period so heavily affected by Covid and that is why we are so proud to be able to launch this new timetable.

“It will enable better regional and intercity connectivity, helping people get to work and enjoy their leisure time, and provides a timely and welcome boost to our local economies and passengers.”

Peter Kennan, Chair of Sheffield Chamber's Transport Forum, said: "These improvements are really welcome. Faster and earlier rail services into London are great for business and the doubling in the Sunday afternoon/evening service is really important for students and for weekend trips away.

“Travel has been the last thing on most people's mind but as we now look beyond the pandemic, the changes will bring significant benefits to our local economy, making it easier for visitors to come, stay and enjoy what is happening in Sheffield."

Tim Taylor, Director of Customer Services at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), said: “Public transport will play a pivotal role over the coming weeks and months in supporting South Yorkshire’s economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

“That’s why these improvements to the rail service linking Sheffield and London are particularly welcome. Faster journey times, early morning services and enhanced Sunday services will all offer greater choice and flexibility to rail passengers.”