UK rail operator Network Rail has announced plans to electrify the Midland Main Line following a year-long study.

The study concluded that electrification of the line, from London St Pancras to Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, would increase capacity, improve travel times, and cut costs and carbon emissions.

The project would also result in a 50% cut in train operating costs, a 33% cut in maintenance costs and up to 30% fewer CO2 emissions – savings that could pay for the project within 60 years.

Network Rail’s chief executive Iain Coucher said the case for the Midland Main Line is strong.

“The case for the Midland Main Line is extremely strong. Affordability and bringing down the cost of such projects are key if they are to get the green light,” Coucher said.

The operator has already secured government go ahead for the electrification of the Great Western line between London and Swansea as well as for the line between Liverpool and Manchester.