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MML electrification

Railfuture East Midlands branch is campaigning to first increase linespeeds by improvements at Market Harborough, Leicester, Derby & Sheffield, and then to electrify the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield with aspirations to continue to Matlock, Doncaster, Wakefield and Leeds. Electrification is committed in the High Level Output Statement published by the Department for Transport in July 2012.

This will:

  • increase train speeds, eg: London to Nottingham up to 84mph compared with between 58 mph and 72mph in 2012
  • cut CO2 emissions by 40% and to generate £450 million* in wider economic benefits (* Ove ARUP report 23 November 2011 - 5.41MB pdf)
  • reduce annual running costs because electric trains are lighter & more efficient to run and over time lead to a lower cost railway, in line with the McNulty Review
  • provide the first step towards creating a modern, efficient inter-urban rail system for the East Midlands and Sheffield City Region, ahead of, and alongside High Speed 2.

Benefits for passengers will include:

  • Improved journey times by 15 minutes with Nottingham in 90 minutes and Sheffield under 120 minutes
  • Replacement of slam door diesel HST’s with electric trains that improve journey ambience both on trains and at stations
  • Support for population growth ensuring associated new housing is more sustainable, and facilitating regeneration and employment in the areas surrounding the main stations.

Railfuture East Midlands have recently sent out over 200 letters urging members to write to their MP’s asking for support, and lobbied MP’s along the MML to create an active and positive cross party consensus. We have met Network Rail and East Midlands Trains to discuss campaign strategy and held meetings with county and borough councillors in the East Midlands to outline the project.

Our next steps will be to:

  • meet Network Rail to get specific details of their CP5 MML project plans and timescales, and to monitor progress
  • lobby for line-speed improvements at Market Harborough that were not included in DFT’s CP5 announcements
  • identify exactly what electric rolling stock is proposed for the MML as DFT’s CP5 announcements were vague
  • produce branch newsletters to update members on the project.

If you support the Railfuture campaign, please:

  • monitor your local press, council planning & road traffic announcements for news of the project and pass this information to Railfuture East Midlands branch contacts below
  • continue to update and lobby your constituency MPs and councillors as the project evolves.

For more information please contact:


Railwatch Railwatch