Network Rail strategy reveals rail service improvement plans

Proposals include more seats, reduced train times and lengthened trains.

Network Rail has published the East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS), which includes proposals for more seats and reduced train times.

The strategy sets out a range of proposals to improve rail services between London St Pancras International and Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield, Norwich and Liverpool, and Stansted Airport and Birmingham.

The RUS predicts that demand for rail over the next ten years will increase by 28 per cent on the main line to London, while passenger journeys are predicted to increase by 40 per cent on routes between the East Midlands and Birmingham. Freight is also expected to increase particularly on routes used by intermodal services.

The RUS scheme to provide more seats include the introduction of 12-car trains as part of the Thameslink Programme to provide a high frequency timetable for commuter services into London St Pancras International and Blackfriars.

Also, trains in the peak should be lengthened up to a maximum of 11 carriages as soon as rolling stock becomes available and in Leicester and Nottingham, further train lengthening on long distance and some local services to provide extra capacity.

Journeys to receive more frequent services to improve regional connectivity include Kettering to Leicester, Derby and Sheffield, Peterborough to Lincoln, Nottingham to Norwich and Birmingham to Cambridge/ Stansted Airport.

Schemes to improve freight services include loop south of Bedford, loop between Leicester and Kettering near Market Harborough and enhanced infrastructure in the Burton-on-Trent area.

Dyan Crowther, route director for Network Rail said: "Demand for rail has risen significantly over recent years, and this strategy provides us with a comprehensive plan to accommodate more passengers and increase the use of rail for freight while providing a better, more reliable service."
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