VIDEO: Landmark step on Midland Main Line Upgrade takes place: Masts have been installed between Kettering and Corby as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade

Monday 13 Nov 2017

VIDEO: Landmark step on Midland Main Line Upgrade takes place

London North Eastern & East Midlands

Network Rail reached a significant milestone in work to upgrade the line between London and Corby as overhead line masts for electrification were installed on the route for the first time in over 40 years.

The improvements being delivered will enable fast, comfortable and green services, with more seats.

The work is part of the biggest upgrade of the Midland Main Line since it was completed in 1870, which will see improvements up and down the route and an investment of over £1billion. This latest milestone saw 40 masts erected on a section of the line between Kettering and Corby in just a few days. When the work is complete, it will benefit both passengers and lineside neighbours.

The new structures will hold the overhead line equipment that will carry 25,000-volts needed to power new trains on the route and were installed by engineers who had to carefully align and then secure the five metre masts onto cylindrical, steel piles which were installed earlier this year.

This landmark step builds on upgrades that have already taken place on this part of the Midland Main Line. This includes raising and strengthening bridges and installing 10,000 yards of fencing to maintain a safe distance from electrified wires, as well as installing new track and signalling between Kettering and Corby to increase capacity for both passenger and freight services.

The Midland Main Line Upgrade also includes installing new track south of Kettering; resignalling, track and platform construction and line speed improvements in Derby; capacity and line speed improvements between Bedford and Market Harborough; and longer platforms and a more accessible station at Market Harborough. From 2020, passengers will benefit smoother journeys, more seats and a modern and reliable railway. Those living near the railway will also benefit from reduced noise and emisisons with the introduction of a modern fleet of trains.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “Reaching this landmark step on the upgrade of the Midland Main Line has real significance. It brings us a step closer to transforming rail travel for passengers in the East Midlands region as well as those travelling through it.

“Coupled with our projects elsewhere on the route, this upgrade will bring real, meaningful benefits to the communities and economies our railway serves.”

Jake Kelly, Managing Director at East Midlands Trains, added: “We are working closely with Network Rail along the length of the Midland Main Line to deliver benefits for customers as swiftly as possible.

“It is therefore great news to see the first new masts going up and we will continue to work together to deliver the improvements and investment across the region.”

Contact information

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Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office - Toby Higgins
Media relations manager (London North Eastern & East Midlands route)
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About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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