Planned electrification and line speed upgrades to the Midland Mainline up to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield were cancelled by the Government’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on 20 July 2017.
The plans were designed to reduce rail travel times between Nottingham and London to just 90 minutes, while direct connections to Eurostar services through to St Pancras International would mean Nottingham was less than five hours from Paris and Brussels.
The East Midlands is being treated unfairly by the Government in missing out on this valuable transport investment.
Nottingham City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins, said:
“Electrification of the Midland Main Line through the East Midlands is crucial to our vision for integrating HS2 into the existing rail network – and in particular for securing a connection with the HS2 line to enable direct high speed services between Leicester and Leeds. It is not at all clear that the alternatives to HS2 classic compatible trains can achieve the same level of performance. The East Midlands is being treated unfairly by the Government in missing out on this valuable transport investment. Sadly, it’s part of an ongoing trend for the region to see lower levels of rail investment than elsewhere in the country, particularly London and the South East.”
Plans are in place to upgrade the Midland Mainline through the delivery of new bi-mode trains, capable of using electric and switching to diesel fuel on non-electric sections. These, along with other line-speed improvements, will allow regular journey times between Nottingham and London of 1 hour 30 minutes. The bi-mode trains are scheduled to be delivered in 2019, and line improvements will be designed to ensure electrification could take place in the future.