Scunthorpe train service could be re-routed through Brigg and Kirton by First Transpennine Express
Trains through North Lincolnshire could be re-routed along the freight line running through Brigg, First Transpennine Express bosses have said.
Nick Donovan, managing director of the firm, which operates the Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport route which calls at Scunthorpe, spoke at a rail conference in Cleethorpes.
He revealed the company was looking at the possibility of running express services along the line, which also runs through Kirton in Lindsey to Sheffield.
Buses are currently replacing trains between Scunthorpe and Doncaster due to a landslip at Hatfield Colliery, near Stainforth.
It was also revealed at the conference that works to repar the line following the landslip could take between 16 and 18 weeks.
Mr Donovan said journeys along the Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport route would take an additional 40 minutes on the alternative Brigg line than if passengers took a replacement bus to Doncaster.
He said: "We are still in the planning stages for this new train route.
"We have been given authorisation by Network Rail to use tracks predominantly used for freight trains but we are still working with them to find a suitable route to take.
"We are also in the process of training some of our Cleethorpes train drivers, who need to learn the new route. This could take at least six weeks per driver."
When asked if the cost and time needed to bring the proposal to fruition was worthwhile – given the existing line may be open by the end of June – Mr Donovan said it was about meeting customer demand.
He said: "If we got the express route up and running then yes, it will take longer but our customers have stressed that they would prefer to stay on one train and reach their destination rather than swapping.
"We are trying to do all we can to make it easier for our passengers while works to the landslip take place."