Thursday 19 Jan 2017
Network Rail has begun next phase of Midland Mainline Upgrade between Kettering and Corby
Network Rail has started the next stage of its project to electrify the line between Kettering and Corby as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.
The work continues with piling - the process of installing foundations – which is being carried out overnight on Saturday. ‘Piling’ involves driving cylindrical steel piles deep into the ground to install a new gantry, which will hold signalling equipment.
Network Rail will also begin to clear vegetation from the side of the railway from Thursday, 26 January to make way for the gantries that will support the overhead wires which carry power to electric trains.
Large trees, as well as small bushes and weeds, must be removed to a distance of 6.5 metres (or the railway boundary) because they can interfere with the safe operation of the network and potentially fall onto the railway during periods of adverse weather.
Spencer Gibbens, principal programme sponsor for the Midland Main Line upgrade, said: “The next phase of the Railway Upgrade Plan for the Midland Main Line will see us prepare the track and the surrounding land for the installation of the overhead wires which will provide power to electric trains.
“We understand that piling and vegetation removal can be disruptive to those living near the railway. For safety reasons, this work must take place when trains are not running, most commonly overnight. I’d like to thank those affected for their patience whilst this vital upgrade work is carried out.”
The next phases of piling are scheduled in late March and early May and Network Rail will write to residents who live near the railway before the work begins.
For those interested in finding out more about vegetation removal, there will be a public event held at Newlands Shopping Centre, Kettering on Saturday, 28 January between 10am and 4pm. Network Rail representatives will be on hand to answer any questions.
Both pieces of work are part of Network Rail’s investment into the Midland Main Line, which will mean more seats for passengers, a smoother journey and a cleaner and quieter railway for those living nearby.
Notes to editors
- Before vegetation work begins, Network Rail will carry out an ecological survey to identify any protected species and make sure appropriate working methods are put in place.
- Vegetation removal work will be carried out between 10.30pm and 7am Monday to Friday, but there may be occasions when it is necessary to work during the weekend. Residents living near the railway will be notified if work is to take place over the weekend.
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.