HS2 east leg scrapped: The Midlands journey that will drop from 74 minutes to 26

Credit: HS2 Ltd

Despite the Transport Secretary confirming the scrapping of the eastern leg of the HS2 rail line - between the East Midlands and Leeds - one journey will still see a dramatic reduction in time.

Under the government's new 'Integrated Rail Plan,' the journey time from Birmingham to Nottingham will see an almost three-fold reduction, from 74 minutes to 26.

Though not all Midlands routes will see such a large fall in their journey times:

Travel time between Birmingham and Derby is due to fall from just 34 minutes, to 30.

Derby to London goes from 86 minutes, to 58.

While passengers travelling from Nottingham to London will see their journey times fall from 92 minutes to 57.

The Birmingham to Manchester route - which will be on the HS2 line - will fall from 86 minutes, to between 41 and 51 minutes.

Government video claims revised rail plan will still 'level up' the Midlands:

Outlining its plan for the Midlands, the Department for Transport said: "We will build HS2 from the West Midlands to East Midlands Parkway.

"From here, HS2 trains will continue directly to Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, and Sheffield on the upgraded and electrified Midland Main Line.

"Unlike the original plans, HS2 will serve Nottingham and Derby city centres.

"We expect trains to run from London to Nottingham in 57 minutes and from Birmingham to Nottingham in 26 minutes – significantly faster than the original HS2 plans, which would have required a change of train at Toton."

The department said the new changes will see the them "fully electrify and upgrade the Midland Main Line between London St Pancras, the East Midlands and Sheffield.

"We will speed up, and decarbonise, services to benefit the whole of the East Midlands, including Leicester, Loughborough, Derby and Nottingham, which would have seen little improvement in city-centre journey times to London under the previous plans for HS2."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Curzon Street railway station in Birmingham in February 2020. Credit: PA Images

Speaking of the new Intergrated Rail Plan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "It fully electrifies, modernises and upgrades two existing diesel main lines, the Midland Main Line from London to Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield and the Transpennine Route, from Liverpool to Manchester, Leeds and York.

"This completes the electrification of around 180 route miles and more than 75% of Britain’s main trunk routes.

"We will begin work on the Midlands Hub Rail project, to transform local and regional services across the centre of England, and to link them with HS2.

"And over the next three years we will install contactless tap-in and tap-out ticketing across the commuter networks of the Midlands and North – to unlock integration with bus and tram networks, and do away with queues at ticket windows, and excess fares offices."

In his announcement this morning, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said an investment of £96 billion would help improve services in the Midlands and northern England, ten years sooner than if ministers had pressed ahead with earlier plans.

The original plan for High Speed Rail in the UK, which was separated into two phases, HS1 and HS2, was first proposed by the Labour government in 2009.

The first phase, between London and Birmingham, is expected to be completed around 2029 to 2033.

The second phase, from Crewe and Manchester to Birmingham, is expected to be complete between 2035 to 2040.