Nottingham to London via GC to Loughborough
Nottingham to London in 1hr 24 mins on the Midland or 1hr 43mins on HS2
A new section of line would be built off the Midland at the intersection of Simms Scrap Metal and Boots entrance, the line would cut across the open land over the A453 and onto Ruddington, following the GC track bed and re-joining the Midland north of Loughborough Station. It takes 68 minutes to get to Leicester (fastest service) and a further 18 mins to Nottingham, over this new route. (Similiar fly-over just built at Reading Station)
The current distance Nottingham to Leicester is 27.46 miles, taking advantage of the GC and building 3.29 miles of new line at Nottingham down to Ruddington and a further 1.05 miles of new railway with a high-speed junction north of Loughborough cuts the distance by 1.5 miles and increase the overall line speed, which is much higher for more of the route as there are no level crossing etc. Journey times from Nottingham to London would be in the region of 1 hr 24 mins. New track and signalling would be required along the Great Central 'Northern Section'.
HS2 will get you to Toton in 1hr 8 mins. However, on the Midland, you are in the middle of Nottingham, not Toton.
A tram to get you to Nottingham Midland from Toton will take 35 mins, total journey time including the tram into Nottingham will be 1hr 43 minutes (Assuming the tram is there waiting for you upon arrival at Toton)
This plan would also eliminate the issue with the three level crossing at Attenborough Station, Barton Lane and Meadow/Trent Lane, as that section of line would not be required to be electrified, which was a big problem for Network Rail, until this Government cancelled the Electrification of the Midland Mainline into Nottingham.
Three new stations would also be created at Boots, Ruddington and East Leak.
Some consideration would need to be given to Great Central Northern (or the unified Great Central) on 'free' access rights along this route. The Unified Great Central would potentially have access to Nottingham Midland and beyond!
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Nottingham to Derby via Trowel Curve & HS2
By building a 300-metre southbound curve at Trowel (across the open land, no demolition required) a heavy rail link to HS2 could be created, and some services between Nottingham and Derby can be routed via HS2, with others services taking the traditional route via Beeston and Attenborough. New stations (not served by the tram) could be created at Beechdale and Wollaton along this route.
HS2 have revealed plans for Derby to Nottingham Services to call at HS2 and reverse out, adding 14 minutes to the Nottingham to Derby journey times? This is exactly why we created to this - who came up with that plan?
A similar curve built on the Nottingham to Grantham Line in 2005 (at Allington) cost £12 million pounds to construct.
See proposal at the top of this page ref Nottingham to London.
Nottingham to ECML via Newark
This line only requires a new high-speed connection north of Newark on to the ECML. Nottingham would cease to be a branch line of the Midland and would become a major hub on a North to South route, congestion on the East Coast mainline from Newark downwards could be eased and Nottingham would be on a fast route to Leeds, York, Newcastle and Scotland. When this proposal is combined with the Midland diversion via the GC, Nottingham truly regains its status as a major station on a high-speed North-South route. London to Doncaster via ECML takes around 1 hr 45 mins the same service via the Midland would be around 1 hr 55 mins.
The branch line out of Nottingham is almost straight and would afford for an upgrade to mainline standards with services running at 125mph, all levels crossing and paths over the line will have been replaced by bridges or underpasses.
The line speed slows before reaching the outskirts of the City near Carlton where the speed would drop to 70/80 mph as services approach Nottingham Station.
If the proposal below were adopted, then the section of line from near Stoke Lane to Netherfield junction could be closed and two more level crossings eliminated with the land sold for housing to finance the 0.7 of a mile of new line including a restricted height bridge over Stoke Lane
This bypass allows the closure of two level crossings at Carlton Station and at Trent Lane. The closure of 1.4 miles of the railway is achieved by creating a new 0.7-mile line together with a bridge over Trent Lane and a new 'Park n Ride' station for Carlton and Netherfield, that also links to the future Gedling tram route. The crossing at Victoria Road would be better served by a rail underpass, that's one for the engineers to figure out.
The former track bed now redundant could be sold, the profit would mitigate some of the cost of building the 0.7 of a mile of new line.
11/17 Update, Gedling Borough Council passes plans to block this route with the building of 190 houses! Way to go GBC such visionaries!!