East Midlands train passengers face delays despite track upgrade

Train The new faster timetable was launched in December at Derby train station

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Rail passengers travelling between the East Midlands and London will face delays until April, because of setbacks to a £70m track upgrade.

Improvements were meant to reduce journeys to London by eight minutes. Instead there have been delays of "two to three minutes".

Network Rail and East Midlands Trains said they knew the project was behind schedule two weeks before it launched.

Some passengers have been benefitting from faster journeys, they said.

Apology

Network Rail said "it became clear" in late November that parts of the project would not be completed on time.

It said that the bad weather has set back its attempts to mitigate delays of up to three minutes caused by the remaining works on the lines.

"By the start of April, the majority of the line speed improvement works will be complete and the published timetable will operate more reliably.

Faster journey times

Rail tickets held out in front of ticket machine
  • Sheffield to London: 2 hrs
  • Nottingham to London: 1hr 31 mins
  • Derby to London: 1hr 28 mins
  • Leicester to London: 1 hr 5 mins

"We apologise that we have so far been unable to deliver all of the promised journey time improvements on all of our train services," the spokesman said.

East Midlands Trains said that passengers "are still benefitting from faster journey times than seen before the launch of the new timetable".

When not subject to delays, trains on the East Midlands mainline to London should reach a top speed of 125mph (200kmph) as a result of track work.

The £70m upgrade on 160 miles of track means the fastest journey from Nottingham to London should be reduced by eight minutes to 91 minutes.

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