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25 June 2015

Essential Rail Investment at Risk: Government announcement due today

The electrification of the Midland Mainline – described by Network Rail as ‘critical to delivering a reliable and sustainable railway and tackling overcrowding’ – is reported to be at risk from a Network Rail funding gap caused by soaring costs from projects in other parts of the country.

The Midland Mainline runs through the centre of the country, it carries more than 13 million passengers a year but when it comes to investment it's the most overlooked rail line in Britain. In recent years, over £12 billion has been spent on the rail network, but only £200 million has been spent on the Midland Mainline.

Despite having a very good punctuality record, the Midland Mainline is the slowest of any of the inter-city lines and due to continual under-investment, Midland Mainline trains are rarely able to reach their top speeds.

The Midland Mainline connects 4 of the largest cities, and one of the fastest growing areas in England, to London and each other.

Passenger numbers have increased by 130% over the last 15 years and a further 30% rise is expected in the next 10 years.

The business case remains clear for the upgrade and electrification of Midland Mainline. It would:

  • Generate over £450 million of economic benefits to the region.
  • Mean a quicker and more reliable service; cutting the journey time between London and Sheffield by up to 15 minutes; meaning quicker services between London, Leicester, Nottingham and Derby.
  • Save the rail industry £60m per annum in running costs.
  • Slash carbon emissions.
  • Improve freight access to our rail network.

The investment is essential if this region is to have a modern, efficient rail system – and is key if we are to widen access to the proposed HS2 network.

And…Money has already been invested and work is underway with piling and bridge construction preparing the way for new overhead lines.

Further information on Midland Mainline electrification is available from EMC’s Executive Director stuart.young@emcouncils.gov.uk.

End of text.

Notes to Editors

East Midlands Councils is the consultative forum for local authorities in the region. It provides support to Councils to improve their services and is a strong voice for the East Midlands. www.emcouncils.gov.uk

EMC also provides the secretariat for the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board.

Contacts

For further information please contact:

Stuart Young, Executive Director, East Midlands Councils

Tel: 01664 502620

E-mail: stuart.young@emcouncils.gov.uk 

ENDS.

All news releases from East Midlands Councils are emailed to relevant media organisations throughout the East Midlands and beyond. Please keep us up-to-date with your contact details and inform us of any changes. 

All news releases can be viewed on our website at http://www.emcouncils.gov.uk/Press-releases

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