Nottingham

East Midlands Trains to close buffet cars

Buffet car services are to be scrapped on East Midlands Trains and replaced with a trolley service.

The firm, which run trains from Sheffield to London, said standard class passengers could still choose hot and cold drinks, and hot baguettes.

First class will have more catering staff, in a bid to reverse a 30% decline in premium passengers.

Managers insisted all customers would enjoy an improved experience being served in their seats.

Passenger protests

Catering service Rail Gourmet will provide hot baguettes to standard-class passengers on a selected number of morning services.

Company operator Stagecoach tried to remove buffet cars when it took over the franchise in 2007 but changed its mind after passenger protests.

David Horne, commercial director at East Midlands Trains, said: "This will be better for passengers as we will be bringing the refreshments to them instead of them having to walk through a moving train to get to the buffet car.

"People will still get the service they do today, just in a different way."

Buffet cars will be closed from the end of the month.

The carriages will be kept so the counter service can be reopened if the train is crowded, managers said.

Last month independent watchdog Passenger Focus found 86% of passengers were satisfied with the service from East Midlands Trains.

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