Rail Minister Claire Perry officially opened a £280 million government-funded project to transform a key Lincolnshire rail line during a visit to the region today (9 March 2015).
The major upgrade of the Great Northern Great Eastern (GNGE) line, an 86-mile route connecting Peterborough to Lincoln and Doncaster, will improve freight links, increase capacity and reduce congestion on the neighbouring East Coast Main Line.
In addition to cutting congestion, it will also pave the way for additional East Midlands Trains and Northern Rail services across the GNGE line in future.
Claire Perry said:
By removing essential but slow-moving freight from the busy East Coast Main Line, this massive upgrade is already making a real difference to both passengers and businesses. It also creates the potential for extra passenger services for local communities in the future.
We’re investing record amounts in building a world-class rail network as part of our long-term plan to boost economic growth.
The work has included installing 20 new bridges, making 32 level crossings safer, and making the signalling system more reliable. The improvements allow up to 2 freight trains an hour to be diverted from the East Coast Main Line, freeing up capacity for more long-distance passenger services. This will also allow for the introduction of the state-of-the-art new Intercity Express trains between London and Scotland from 2018.
Between 2014 and 2019, more than £38 billion is being invested in improving and maintaining the UK’s rail network, providing better journeys across the country.