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31 July: news in brief

Fourth strike called on East Midlands Trains

THE RMT has called an additional Saturday strike on East Midlands Trains, in the unresolved dispute over what the union describes as ‘pay discrimination and contract issues’. The new walkout is set for 17 August. The last of the three strikes which had already been called will be going ahead this Saturday, the RMT said. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘East Midlands Trains lack of commitment to deal with our concerns over contractual issues such as compulsory Sunday working, wage discrimination and other matters is a total disgrace. RMT members will not be left to pay a heavy personal price as Stagecoach slash and burn their way through their remaining franchises.’ EMT had previously said: ‘The fact is the union have raised issues about contracts which have been in place for six years, and which were introduced with their full agreement.’

Hitachi Rail UK wins £400m East Midlands fleet order

HITACHI has won an order worth £400m for a new fleet of bi-mode intercity trains for East Midlands Railway, beating Bombardier. Abellio takes over the franchise from Stagecoach on 18 August. The order consists of 33 five-car sets, which are expected to run in multiple to provide 10-car trains. The new trains are set to enter service in 2022. Abellio says there will be an improved and more consistent ‘seven day’ catering service in both First Class and Standard.

More strikes called on Merseyrail

THE RMT has called six more 24-hour strikes on Merseyrail, in the continuing dispute over on-train staffing. The dates announced by the RMT are 24 August, 3,5 and 30 September, and 2 and 4 October.

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