“Sources close to the industry”, and to the BBC have suggested that the announcement of the go-ahead for the electrification of the midland mainline could come as soon as Monday (16th July).
Without doubt this much discussed, and delayed scheme is instrumental to the development of the transport infrastructure in the region. Arguably bigger than the tram extension.
The midland mainline has long been a Cinderella route compared to the other major InterCity routes. As recently as the mid 1980s the service was barely usable. Through London services, if my memory serves me right, ran at 90 minute intervals, and the GB timetable recommended the quicker journey by changing at Grantham should you want the most rapid service to the capital.
Times have changed for the better. Two services an hour, one pretty quick already (approx 100 minutes), and a stopping service calling at Beeston, and providing a number of shorter journey opportunities.Electrification is just one of the major schemes on the route. Nottingham rationalisation. Trent resignalling and rationalisation. Midland mainline speed limit improvements, and Derby resignalling to name a few.
This offers a tantalising picture, with the right stopping pattern, and a 110 – 125MPH infrastructure, of 75minute journey times between Derby / Nottingham and London, putting the Cinderella line well into the spotlight.