Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

MPs lobby for electric rail route

East Midlands Trains
The campaign calls for faster trains in the region

Political leaders from across the East Midlands have called on Transport Minister Lord Adonis to consider electric rail links in the region.

The MPs and councillors, including Phil Hope, the minister for the East Midlands, said electrification would boost the economy.

The Department for Transport said it was assessing the scheme.

The route would also tackle congestion and protect the environment, the MPs said.

Strong case

Regional MPs have invited Lord Adonis to a meeting at Westminster on Wednesday to press their case.

Mr Hope said: "I think the government is listening but they haven't yet made their decision. So that is where the campaign is all important."

"They recognise the strength of our case. They know this is really important for investment in the East Midlands economy.

The service would be much faster and more eco-friendly, he said.

There are huge benefits to the East Midlands for passengers and for business users
Phil Hope MP

There was disappointment in the East Midlands in July when Lord Adonis announced the Great Western Mainline and the Trans-Pennine route from Liverpool to Manchester would be electrified but the Midland Mainline would have to wait.

Electric trains already travel on the Midland Mainline up to Bedford but, after that, only diesel engines run on the track.

"There are huge benefits to the East Midlands for passengers and for business users and local companies moving freight around," Mr Hope said.

The East Midlands Assembly has been working with South Yorkshire transport groups.

It said an electric train service from London to Sheffield could boost the region's economy by up to £19m a year.

The assembly said Network Rail had suggested in a study released earlier this year that the case for electrification was extremely strong.

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MPs and other politicians are lobbying the government on an electric rail route in the East Midllands



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