Thursday, 17 June 2021

'Dive Under' Proposed to Allow Coventry to Leicester Trains to Run Again

Plans for an ambitious feat of civil engineering close to the Leicestershire border have been proposed, to connect up Leicester and Coventry by rail once again. Currently, the train journey from Coventry to Leicester takes close to an hour despite the cities being so close.

A new 'dive under' has been proposed at Nuneaton in order to run trains from Coventry to Leicester and on to Loughborough and Nottingham.

The link would significantly reduce travel time - but is not without difficulties, not least the existing railway lines to Nuneaton, which stand in the way. 
Direct services ceased to stop in 2004, as an increased number of services started running from the West Midlands to London via Nuneaton, leaving no room for the East-West Coventry to Leicester trains to continue running."

So one set of rail lines will need to be tunnelled under the other track.

Midland's Connect have put forward the plans which have been supported by Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and City Mayor, Peter Soulsby.

Currently there is no space for services to run through the station, which means travellers have to change platforms and trains at Nuneaton.
Mayor Peter Soulsby said the current setup is "appallingly connected."

Midland's Connect has determined that a dive under is the best way to tackle the problem, but the scheme overall will cost in the region of £100m.

It added: "In this business case, a dive under is the best way to alleviate this congestion and run direct services once more.

"We still need to work up the detail to understand how long it will take to implement."

The firm are eager for the scheme to get underway as soon as possible but are currently waiting on 'positive funding decisions.'

If the scheme is approved, direct trains from Leicester to Coventry and Nottingham could run again as soon as 2025.

When and if work begins, the West Coast Main Line would be temporarily closed but it is expected to take only a couple of weeks. A number of closures are already planned by HS2, so it is hoped that any work could tie in with this to avoid causing further disruption.