The Erewash advantage
According to Atkins, the forthcoming electrification of the Midland railway should result in the London-to-Sheffield journey coming down to 1 hour 55 minutes. However, the direct route via the Erewash Valley is not part of the scheme; its inclusion could help knock another 10 – 15 minutes off.
Because passenger volumes between Hallamshire and London are not very large, there would be scope to use the Midland route to take some of the ‘leisure’ demand between Leeds / Wakefield and London. The cost of electrification in the Erewash Valley, and from Sheffield to Moorthorpe is trivial compared to HS2.