Midlands Connect calls for £18m Castle Line revamp

Ambitious plans to boost speeds along the Nottingham to Lincoln rail corridor which could potentially generate a wealth of benefits for local businesses have been launched today (25 May).

Midlands Connect is submitting a Strategic Outline Business Case to The Department for Transport on Thursday, calling for an £18m investment to improve journey times.

The body’s report, titled “All change: The Castle Line”, details proposals to make train travel more attractive, reduce car dependence and benefit local economies.

Currently just 10% of journeys between Nottingham and Lincoln are taken by rail, but if the new proposals are green lit, trains would increase from predominantly 50mph to 75mph throughout the route.

Maria Machancoses, CEO of Midlands Connect, said: “This is an important connection between two major urban areas, and our plans for investment represent the first step in encouraging more passengers to use the trains.

“We recognise the need to make train travel more attractive and help people transition to sustainable transport.

“Our purpose is to create a fairer, greener and stronger Midlands. Faster connections between our towns and cities will bring a boost to the area for all the residents, businesses and visitors.”

The plans have been developed with the support of Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Network Rail and local train operator East Midlands Railway (EMR) are also key stakeholders in the process.

Midlands Connect has recommended that improvement works start in April 2026, with a proposed completion date of Summer 2028.