Backers of the Midlands Engine Rail proposal have suggested that over 3,500 construction workers would benefit from the project.
Midlands Connect claims that the project to improve rail connectivity throughout the region could “spearhead [the UK’s] construction boom”, safeguarding 2,800 construction-related jobs and creating 720 new roles.
Composed of seven schemes, including the flagship Midlands Rail Hub, Midlands Engine Rail is designed to deliver 736 extra passenger services a day, with over 60 stations across the UK set to benefit from faster, more frequent and/or new rail services.
The other projects that make up Midlands Engine Rail include; Birmingham Airport Connectivity, a scheme to enhance national rail connectivity to Coventry and Birmingham International stations; plans for faster and more frequent trains on the Birmingham-Black Country-Shrewsbury corridor; improvements on the Nottingham-Newark-Lincoln line and the reintroduction of direct rail links between Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham.
Analysis, completed by NSA research, shows that Midlands Engine Rail will add 30M passenger seats on the railway each year. The project will also create space for over a million lorries’ worth of cargo to be transported on the railways each year, rather than by road, resulting in a 72% reduction in carbon emissions.
Midlands Connect chairman Sir John Peace said: “This series of projects will create a construction and engineering boom that will support critical sectors of the economy and protect skilled jobs. As we look to meet the challenge of climate change, speed the route to carbon neutrality and promote growth, it’s essential that we encourage our communities to reduce their car miles and travel sustainably. That is why today Midlands Connect is holding a free all-day event to talk about the transport challenges the region faces in this climate emergency, and how best to meet them.”
“We are awaiting the release of the Integrated Rail Plan to understand Government’s rail priorities in the Midlands, but our research is clear: this investment in our region would be worth every single penny.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street added: “The transport benefits from the Midlands Engine Rail proposals, particularly the Midlands Rail Hub, have always been clear – more train journeys, a better-connected region, and reduced carbon emissions. But now for the first time we’re also able to see the impact these proposals will have on jobs in the region.”
Department of Civil EngineeringDepartment of Civil Engineering – International Burch University (ibu.edu.ba)