East Midlands Trains primarily operated their HSTs on services from Nottingham to London St Pancras operating all ‘fast’ services within main timetable hours. In the mornings some HSTs operate services from Leeds to London St Pancras via Sheffield with them also returning in the evening to enable maintenance at Neville Hill Depot in Leeds. HSTs occasionally operate services to Corby however this is only one booked train per day leaving St Pancras at 19:00 and returning at 20:51 each weekday evening. HSTs can often be found operating to Corby during periods of engineering works when services divert via the Northamptonshire town and over the ‘Manton’ route avoiding the mainline through Market Harborough.
The fleet were all allocated to Neville Hill Depot in Leeds and the majority of stabling and maintenance work is carried out here. Other light maintenance, stabling and fuelling is carried out at Derby Etches Park depot and Cricklewood Stabling Point just north of London on the Midland Main Line.
All power cars and coaching stock were painted in the corporate livery of East Midlands Trains with blue power cars and white coaching stock, however in late in 2015 East Midlands Trains took a MK3 TRFB, numbered 40805 on hire from sister company
Virgin Trains East Coast.
This was to enable East Midlands Trains buffet carriages to be put through an overhaul programme. The vehicle arrived with EMT in unbranded National Express East Coast livery however in December 2015 the vehicle was painted into Virgin Trains East Coast Livery albeit and unbranded version.
East Midlands Trains also used HSTs on ‘Summer Saturday’ trains from Derby to Skegness, between Nottingham and Lincoln during the Lincoln Christmas Market in December and for other special services when passenger demand was for a train with increased capacity.
UK Railtours have hired in HST sets which has seen East Midlands Trains HSTs visit destinations such as Wensleydale Railway, Mid Norfolk Railway, East Lancashire Railway and Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.