Faster train service on city’s capital link

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RAIL services on the Sheffield to London line are set to get faster at the end of the month - but delivery of extra carriages for another route through South Yorkshire has been delayed.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of East Midlands Trains, which operates the city’s link to the capital, revealed the fastest services will take two hours and four minutes - a four minute improvement.

Faster journeys will begin on May 22, involving around a quarter of services heading from London to Sheffield.

Southbound services will keep to the current times.

Mr Shoveller added: “Work is ongoing to improve line speeds to that several sections of the route can be improved to 125mph from 110mph.

“This is meant to be finished by April 2014 but I’m hoping it will be done by December 2013, so we can get journey times between Sheffield and London down below two hours.”

Mr Shoveller added that other improvements to the line are progressing, including refurbishment of its Meridian trains, used on most Sheffield to London services.

He said: “We have refurbished four five-car sets and are working on the first of our seven-car trains, to be launched later this month.”

Mr Shoveller added from December, the first weekday London to Sheffield train will depart earlier, at 5.45am instead of 6.10am, to improve services for business travellers.

But delivery of eight coaches which will allow all Liverpool to Norwich services - one of the two main services between Sheffield and Manchester, to be doubled from two to four cars has been delayed.

Mr Shoveller said he is still confident they will be in service by the end of the year.