The delay in the electrification of the Midland main line from St Pancras is going to cause problems.
In the summer of 2015 the government announced a pause in the project. It was soon restarted, but that good news was accompanied by the news that it will take four years longer than originally planned.
The electrification will reach now Kettering and Corby by 2019, and be extended to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield (and, indeed, Market Harborough) by 2023.
This will cause problems. East Midlands Trains, which runs the service on this line, is due to phase out its High Speed Trains by 2020.
A press release from Leicestershire County Council calls on the government to order new 125mph bi-mode trains that can use diesel or electric power, so they can still be used when the line is electrified.
In a spirit of bipartisanship, it also quotes Sir Peter Soulsby, the elected Mayor of Leicester:
“Replacing high speed trains with slower, second-hand stock is simply unacceptable. The government needs to offer an assurance that that the high speed trains due to be withdrawn in 2020 will be replaced with stock of equivalent or better specification."But I doubt we will see those new trains. With money being poured into HS2, corners will have to be cut elsewhere.
If you add to that the fact that the opening of HS2 will lead to fewer trains on the Midland main line, there is clearly trouble ahead.