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Midland Main Line

Volume 181: debated on Friday 23 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about British Rail's longer-term plans for the midland main line.

The midland main line is, and will continue to be, an important line for british Rail. Over £150 million at cash prices has been invested in the line since 1979, £40 million on rolling stock and the rest on signalling, infrastructure and improvements to passenger facilities. British Rail's investment will continue and it will also be developing plans and taking key decisions over the next two to three years about the longer-term future of the line. These plans will assess the options available when the existing high-speed trains are ready for renewal. I can assure my hon. Friend that electrification of the line will be an option.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will ask British Rail to undertake further investment to cut travelling time on the midland main line from London to Leicester.

I understand that InterCity is considering spending a further £5 to £10 million on the infrastructure of the midland main line in the mid-1990s to improve journey times. Depending on the availability of finance it might be possible for British Rail to advance some, but not all, of this investment.