Network Rail plans could see platform at Belper extended

NBENBE100726d1, Belper train station

NBENBE100726d1, Belper train station

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A £500m plan to electrify the Midland Mainline could see platforms at Belper, Duffield and Ambergate extended.

Network Rail announced a five-year project to convert the line which runs from London to Sheffield via the East Midlands this week.

Under current proposals £137m would be spent on increasing capacity on the Derby line.

Some platforms would also be lengthened to accommodate longer trains. It has not been decided at which stations works would be carried out, but Belper, Duffield and Ambergate will all be considered.

Ambergate junction could also berelocated with money from the passenger Improvements Fund – which would further reduce journey times.

The scheme 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.”