Monday 30 Oct 2023
Engineering work to cause disruption to train travel on weekends throughout November
Network Rail is urging passengers travelling between London and the East Midlands in November and December to check their journey before they travel as major engineering work means journeys will be disrupted on weekends throughout the months.
Lines between Leicester and Kettering will be closed to trains as Network Rail lowers sections of track and demolishes some bridges to enable overhead electric lines to be installed.
Engineering work will mean no trains will operate between the stations on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November, and then on subsequent Sundays for the remainder of the month.
As a result, rail replacement bus services will be in operation between Kettering, Market Harborough and Leicester which will shuttle passengers through the closed section.
East Midlands Railway’s (EMR) ‘Connect’ services will also start and terminate at Wellingborough, rather than Kettering or Corby.
The work is part of the ongoing Midland Main Line Upgrade project which is electrifying the line between London St Pancras and the East Midlands, allowing for the introduction of bi-mode trains in the future, delivering greener, faster, and smoother journeys for passengers.
Also on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November, 670 yards of old track will be being replaced close to Leicester, with teams adding new sleepers, ballast, and rails allowing for a smoother, more reliable journey for passengers.
Elsewhere on the Midland Main Line, work will be carried out on selected dates in November and December between Luton and Bedford to upgrade overhead line equipment which will enable the new fleet of trains to run at speeds of up to 125mph.
Until 08.05 on the mornings of Sunday 5 and 26 November and 3 December, buses will replace Thameslink services between Luton and Bedford, with a revised timetable in operation between London St Pancras and Luton.
Passengers are being encouraged to check their journey before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Midlands Route, said: “We always endeavour to carry out engineering work with the least amount of disruption possible to passengers, but this work is essential in delivering vital upgrades to the Midland Main Line, providing benefits for years to come.
“Engineers are completing the next step in our ongoing Midland Main Line Upgrade project which will eventually allow passengers to experience more reliable, smoother, faster journeys between London and the East Midlands.
“We want to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding while we carry this work out and apologise for any disruption caused. We’re urging passengers to check their journey before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.”
Dave Meredith, Customer Services Director for East Midlands Railway said: “We are asking any customers planning to travel to or from London in November to allow plenty of time to complete their journey.
“An amended timetable will be in place on our Intercity route; trains will not call at Market Harborough on Saturday 4 and Sunday November. Our Connect services will also start and terminate at Wellingborough, instead of Kettering or Corby.
“Rail replacement buses will run between Kettering, Market Harborough, and Leicester.
“We would like to thank our customers for their patience whilst the engineering work along the Midland Main Line is taking place.”
Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “On behalf of our passengers we’re grateful to Network Rail for planning this major, complex work programme to cause as little inconvenience as possible. If you are planning to travel on these dates, though, please allow plenty of extra time and double-check your route before you set off.”
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.