The following is a press release issued by Campaign for Rail

RAIL CAMPAIGNERS have said passengers in the East Midlands are being short changed after the Government announced plans for electrification of the areas main Inter-City line are being axed.

It was originally planned the line from London St. Pancras to Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield would be electrified by 2023.  However, the line will now only be electrified as far as Kettering in Northamptonshire with hybrid “bi-mode” trains being used.  The Department for Transport have claimed these “would improve journey times sooner, without the need for wires and masts on the whole route”.

Ian Jenkins of Campaign for Rail said the “East Midlands was being left with a second class railway”.

He added:  “Today’s announcement is a kick in the teeth for rail users in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire and businesses who wanted better transport links.

“The DfT announcement is also total spin.  Full electrification would have delivered a faster service with more capacity for other trains, such as local trains and freight, as electric trains can accelerate faster freeing up paths.”

“As for the claims that electrification is expensive and causes disruption, why hasn’t Chris Grayling challenged Network Rail?  Other countries have electrified main lines on their networks more quickly than we have.  Even the much derided British Rail delivered the major electrification of the East Coast Main Line from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh on time and on budget.”

Mr. Jenkins also pointed out that the Inter-City service from Birmingham to Nottingham is woeful.  “The current service from Birmingham to Nottingham has an average speed of just 47 mph – more slow-coach than Inter-City.   Had Midland Main Line electrification taken place it would have made sense for the gap from Proof House Junction via Tamworth and Burton on Trent to Derby, and the Derby – Trent Junction – Nottingham line to be wired.  It would have allowed Birmingham – Nottingham services to be operated by electric trains and would have freed diesel units for capacity enhancements elsewhere.”

“Today’s news just shows there is no national plan or strategy for electrifying Britain’s railways and the Department of Transport Rail Group is simply not fit for purpose”.

20 July 2017

Passengers “Short Changed” As Wiring Scrapped