British East Midlands train in motion on the railway, via Istock

£1.5bn bid to boost Midlands' connectivity

A bid to secure more than a hundred new trains on the railway lines in the midlands has been launched by transport leaders Midlands Connect, the region’s sub-national transport body.

Coming as part of the ‘Going for Growth Plan’, the hopes are to secure the capital investment of more than £1.5bn in rail services throughout the region. Securing this would transform the social inclusivity for local communities, improving the key links between Leicester, Birmingham, Worcester, Bristol and Cardiff.

Breaking down these connective barriers will have transformative effects on the economic and social value that can be extrapolated from enhanced reliability and improved availability of services.

If the plan receives approval, an additional fast train that connects Leicester and Birmingham, which will stop at Nuneaton will be introduced. This will be accompanied by another slow train will also be run every hour, which will stop at Coleshill Parkway, Nuneaton, Hinckley, Narborough & South Wigston.

To accommodate these changes, necessary railway infrastructure upgrades will be conducted across Leicestershire, with signalling headways will be added from Nuneaton to Wigston, as well as freight loops between Nuneaton and Leicester.

Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor of Leicester and Chair of Transport for the East Midlands said:

 “Leicester is a thriving and rapidly growing city, but we need better connectivity by rail to realise the city’s economic potential. The Midlands Rail Hub will double the rail service between Leicester and Birmingham and ensure the city is connected to both New Street and Moor Street stations.

“This will provide onward connectivity to Wales and the South West, as well as easy access to HS2 Services at Curzon Street. We expect that HS2 East will transform connectivity between Birmingham, Derby and Nottingham by the 2040s. In the meantime, the Midlands Rail Hub will preserve onward connectivity for existing services from Birmingham New Street to the West Midlands, Wales and the West Country.”

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