Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Plan to electrify ‘almost’ all of Midlands rail network welcomed

Almost all of the Midlands rail network could be electrified in plans from Network Rail.

Midlands transport body Midlands Connect has welcomed a report by Network Rail that proposes hundreds of miles of lines in the East and West Midlands.

Commenting on the report, Midlands Connect’s Maria Machancoses said most of the region could see the benefits of the scheme.

Maria said: “This welcome announcement by Network Rail could unleash a rail revolution in the Midlands not seen in a hundred years.

“It will create skilled jobs, help level up the economy and help the UK to meet its net-zero target. But not only that, passengers will see improved reliability and faster journeys.

“The historic report recommends the electrification of almost all the Midlands rail network over the next few decades, and Midlands Connect looks forward to working with Network Rail and Department for Transport in developing the sequencing and the case for investment.

“The government’s agenda is rightly – build back better and build back greener and we are supporting that every step of the way. This project will help our work to deliver investment and growth to every corner of the region.

“This gives us the green light to engineer a system that really couples the East and West Midlands for the first time with decent, speedy and effective rail links.

“There are clearly opportunities now like committing to extend electrification of the Midland Main Line from Market Harborough and Sheffield and further electrification of other main lines and busy commuter routes must be, I believe, the top priorities.”

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