Monday 17 May 2021
More seats and faster journeys between East Midlands and London - Network Rail completes major work on £1.5billion Midland Main Line Upgrade
- Network Rail completes major improvements on Midland Main Line in £1.5billion upgrade
- 50% more seats for passengers travelling at peak times between London and Corby
- Faster journeys between London and Derby, Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham
- Quieter, cleaner trains which are better for the environment
Network Rail has completed the biggest improvements to the Midland Main Line since it was built, meaning more seats, faster journeys and more reliable services for passengers travelling between the East Midlands and London.
In the latest stage of the upgrade, teams have carried out vital work to install new overhead line equipment between Bedford and Corby, as well as improvements to station platforms and major work to upgrade bridges on the route – to make way for electrification between London St Pancras International and Corby.
All of this work means there will be 50% more seats for passengers travelling at peak times between Corby and London. The new train timetable was introduced yesterday (Sunday 16 May), and East Midlands Railway launched its new all-electric service between Corby and London St Pancras International, providing a sixth train per hour.
The upgrade, along with the new timetable, also boosts the number of seats on services across the East Midlands and cuts travel time between London and Derby, Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham.
It’s hoped the improvements will take more cars off the roads, as COVID restrictions ease and passengers return to the railway. Electric trains are quieter and much better for the environment that diesel trains. They produce almost 80% less carbon, benefitting people who live and work near the railway.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “As passengers return to the railway, it’s great to be welcoming them back with the biggest improvements in a generation on the Midland Main Line.
“New overhead line equipment, as well as new track, new platforms and new bridges along the route, has made way for electric trains to run between Corby and St Pancras International. The major upgrade also brings faster, more reliable services which better connect passengers between the East Midlands and London.”
Will Rogers, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway, said: "We are delighted to be able to start this new and significantly improved timetable. The £1.5 billion Midland Main Line upgrade has allowed us to offer more seats, quicker journeys and more frequent journeys to our passengers across both our Regional and Intercity network.
"The timetable includes earlier and later services supporting leisure, business and tourism journeys and will help to support the region's recovery out of the pandemic.”
Network Rail is reminding people that a deadly 25,000 volts runs through the overhead wires at all times. For more information on electrification, the dangers of trespassing on the railway and the tragic consequences this can have, see our ‘Always On’ safety campaign: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/railway-safety-campaigns/always-on/
Notes to Editors
Nottingham station photo, left to right:
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route
Cllr Leslie Ayoola, Nottingham City Council
Sheffield station photo, left to right:
Will Rogers, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail
Peter Kennan, Chair of Transport Forum at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce
Melissa Farmer, Rail Development Manager at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
Corby station photo, left to right:
Julie Evans, Senior Sponsor at Network Rail
Lisa Angus, EMR Transitions and Projects Director
Tim Walden, Route Delivery Director for Network Rail
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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.