Nottinghamshire County Council has welcomed the announcement by the government that £500m is to be spent on improving and electrifying the Midland Main Line rail route from Nottingham to London.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that work is likely to begin in 2014.
The County Council believes that the investment in the line will bring a boost to the local economy by increasing average speeds and creating a journey time from Nottingham to London of less than 90 minutes.
In addition, the electrification of the line will result in quieter trains and lower CO2 emissions and save rail operators some £60m per year in running costs.
"I am absolutely delighted that the government has given the go-ahead for these much-needed improvements," said Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.
"This is fantastic news for Nottinghamshire and its future prosperity.
"£500m may sound like a lot, but time is money and the economic benefits for the East Midlands of achieving travel times of 90 minutes will provide an immediate and ongoing return for such investment.
"The Midland Main Line is vitally important to the East Midlands as a whole and the speed of the service is crucial to the economic viability of the region."
The County Council has long been lobbying for work on the Midland Main Line to progress and has been part of several delegations made by the East Midlands Councils, a consultative forum which represents local authorities in the region, which have met with senior government ministers including Vince Cable and transport secretary Justine Greening.
"Clearly our views have been listened to," added Councillor Cutts.
"If businesses are to thrive, they need the best possible links - we have already secured the go-ahead for the A453 dualling, we are driving the bid for super-fast broadband and now it looks like the Midland Mainline will be upgraded which will massively improve the journey times to London.
"We don't know all the details yet, but if the line upgrade includes the straightening and the electrification it will be a fantastic gift for everyone who lives in the county."