Network Rail to spend £500m electrifying Midland Mainline

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Media captionNetwork Rail says the project will bring jobs to the region.

More than £500m is to be spent electrifying the Midland Mainline, under a five-year plan announced by Network Rail.

The company said electrifying the line, which runs from London to Sheffield via the East Midlands, would allow for more reliable and faster trains.

The plan also includes an investment of £137m to increase capacity on the Derby line.

Some platforms would also be extended to accommodate longer trains.

A further £458m will be spent improving capacity at the southern end of the line.

'Most modern'

It is part of Network Rail's business plan for the 2014-19 period.

The company said the biggest investment in infrastructure since the Victorian era would reduce costs and help it to avoid delays.

At present the line is only electrified between London's St Pancras and Bedford, but under the new plans this would be extended to Sheffield, via stations including Wellingborough, Kettering, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Chesterfield.

Route managing director Martin Frobisher said: "We're going to be investing over £1bn in the region, and that obviously creates lots of jobs through the construction, the operation and the maintenance of the facilities that are built.

"So this is a real opportunity to take the East Midlands from the diesel railway we've got today, to one of the most modern electric railways in Europe."

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