The new rail link could help relieve congestion on some major roads
Plans to join up part of the old Great Central Railway, that could once again link Leicester with Nottingham, are a step closer.
A study is to be carried out to look at re-instating part of the line that was severed 40 years ago at Loughborough.
Experts say it would bring significant economic and tourism benefits to the whole of the East Midlands.
If given the go-ahead it could also mean new passenger services for people in Quorn, Rothley and Birstall.
The study is likely to cost more than £350,000 and will be largely funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA).
Experts will examine replacing a bridge at Loughborough to reconnect the two independent halves of the Great Central Railway.
Richard Tilden Smith, of the Great Central Railway Group, said more trains would help relieve traffic on the busy A6 and A60.
In addition freight trains would help take lorries off the road, he said.
The first consultation report will be published in May and the final study completed by October.