Sheffield Midland will be served by what is termed a conventional compatible service.
- 'Phase 2b'
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A dedicated link taking high speed trains off the main line and running up to two trains per hour into Sheffield on existing lines whilst the main HS2 line continues to carry trains serving Leeds and further North. These conventional compatible trains will also stop at Chesterfield. Compared to the fastest existing service of 120 minutes, HS2 will provide a London to Sheffield service of 87 minutes.
The advantage of this approach is that it better reflects the demand picture in South Yorkshire, where Sheffield city centre, and the area from it to Chesterfield, pre-dominate without impacting on the services to the areas of greater demand to the North: Leeds, York and Newcastle.
It also allows for core HS2 services to run into Sheffield Midland without necessitating the cost and environmental impacts associated with building a dedicated high speed station in a dense, urban environment, whilst at the same time allowing an easy, cross-platform interchange to places across the city region by rail, and across the city on the tram network.
The use of Sheffield Midland for HS2 services also opens the possibility of running high speed trains from Sheffield to Leeds via a dedicated link to the main HS2 line. This link would deliver the NPR ambition for a frequent 30 minute journey time between Leeds and Sheffield. This link might also be used by Birmingham-Leeds HS2 services, allowing them to route through Sheffield. It is being considered by Transport for the North as part of their work on Northern Powerhouse Rail.