Plans to run faster trains between Sheffield and Manchester have been downsized by transport bosses.
It had initially been intended four fast passenger trains per hour would run between the two cities as part of Network Rail’s Northern Hub programme, which is to be finished by 2018.
But it has now been revealed rail industry bosses have decided three fast trains per hour will be sufficient.
At the moment, two services an hour that take 60 minutes or less to reach their destination run between the two cities, with another regular slower service also in operation.
Proposals had originally been put forward for a new section of railway to run through woodland on the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate near Grindleford railway station.
It was announced in July this idea would no longer go ahead following concerns being raised by environmental groups, with alternative locations being explored for the extra track.
It has now been decided no new track will be built near Grindleford as a result of timetable changes, although an alternative site near Bamford and Jaggers Lane in the Peak District is being considered.
A statement by Network Rail said: “The previous requirement of four fast trains per hour meant we had to build the new track at Grindleford. Now the scope has changed, we don’t have to pursue this option and can avoid the environmental impacts highlighted as significant concerns in the previous consultation.”
But proposals to expand Dore and Totley Station on the edge of Sheffield and create a new section of railway to allow faster passenger trains to overtake freight services is still being planned.
A series of public exhibitions on the proposals are to take place in the next few weeks. Visit www.networkrail.co.uk/improvements/northern-hub/doregrindleford for details.