Midland Mainline Electrification Plans Scrapped

The Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Graying MP) made a statement to the House of Commons on 20 July 2017

"The competition to find the next operator for the Midland Main Line is underway. Our goals for the next East Midlands franchise are to improve journeys for passengers, drive even stronger economic growth and support investment across the whole region. We want to hear from passengers and local communities about the next rail franchise to ensure it delivers the services that passengers want. I am therefore pleased to inform the House that my department is today (20 July 2017) launching a public consultation on the next franchise. The consultation, which will run for 12 weeks from today, will help to inform and develop the franchise specification for inclusion in the invitation to tender. The consultation is available online and will also include a number of local stakeholder events.

The next East Midlands franchise will help drive the Midlands Engine and improve passenger journeys by maximising the passenger benefits of the significant upgrade of the Midland Main Line, the biggest investment in the route since it was completed in 1870. The upgrade will enable reduced journey times and more seats for long distance passengers during the peaks, as well as more capacity
for commuters with dedicated services with longer trains. Journeys will improve from 2020 and, once the full benefits are realised, there will be almost twice as many seats into London St Pancras in the peak compared to today.

The next operator will be required to deliver modern, fast and efficient trains . This includes a brand new fleet of bi-mode intercity trains from 2022, delivering more seats and comfort for long-distance passengers. The provision of these trains will replace plans to electrify the line north of Kettering to Sheffield and Nottingham, improving journeys sooner, without the need for wires and masts on the whole route, and causing less disruption to services.

 We do not intend to proceed with plans to electrify the line from Kettering to Sheffield and Nottingham, and there will be further investment to come to ensure Sheffield is HS2-ready.

Technology is advancing quickly, and this government is committed to using the best available technologies to improve each part of the network. New bi-mode train technology offers seamless transfer from diesel power to electric that is undetectable to passengers. The industry is also developing alternative fuel trains, using battery and hydrogen power. This means that we no longer need to electrify every line to achieve the same significant improvements to journeys, and we will only electrify lines where it delivers a genuine benefit to passengers.These new technologies mean that we can improve journeys for passengers on the Great Western Main Line in south Wales, the Midland Main Line, and on the Lakes Line between Windermere and Oxenholme sooner than expected with state of the art trains, instead of carrying out disruptive electrification works along the whole of these routes."

FDVL 2020

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