JOURNEY times between Sheffield and London will fall to less than two hours by December this year after £40 million of improvements to the Midland Main Line.
Currently the fastest journey time is two hours and seven minutes - already faster than in 2007 when East Midlands Trains took and it was two hours, twenty minutes.
David Horne, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said: “We support the need for faster journey times and believe reduced journey time improvements lead to benefits for the economy and environment.
“We have worked hard to improve services from Sheffield and are already offering our passengers faster journey times and additional services to London as well as extra seats on trains to Manchester and Liverpool.
“The roll-out of Network Rail’s Line Speed Improvement Programme this year will allow us to build on this work even further.
“Journey speeds will increase from 110mph to 125mph on some of the Sheffield to London route and this could lead to an eight minute improvement between Sheffield and London from December this year.
“We are working with Network Rail and the Department for Transport on these plans, which will offer significant benefits for our passengers and for the city.”
Mr Horne said the improvement comes on top of a £30 million refurbishment of the company’s entire fleet of trains, £10m spent on station improvements including the introduction of a new First Class Lounge at Sheffield and refurbishing all station toilets and waiting rooms.
Another £3m was spent on onboard WiFi internet and improved mobile phone signals, and £4m invested in environmental improvements to the Meridian trains, saving around 800,000 litres of fuel a year.
He added: “Passengers can also look forward to the roll-out of free station WiFi coming later this year.”