New, longer platform opens at Market Harborough railway station: New, longer platform opens at Market Harborough railway station-2

Monday 17 Feb 2020

New, longer platform opens at Market Harborough railway station

Region & Route:
London North Eastern & East Midlands

Network Rail has today (Monday, 17 February) opened a new, longer platform at Market Harborough station, which will allow longer trains with more seats to call there.

Platform two has been extended to 265 metres to allow for 250-metre trains to call there. Work has also taken place to reduce the stepping distance between the train and the platform, making it easier for people to board and alight trains.

The work is part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which is the biggest investment into the line since its construction in the Victorian era. Over the last year, major work has taken place at Market Harborough station, including the straightening of the tracks through the station to allow trains to travel at a higher speed, installing a new accessible footbridge at the station and increasing the car parking available by 200 spaces.

There will also be further improvements to customer toilets at the station, as well as to the waiting room on platform one. A secure cycle hub will also be added.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “A new platform at Market Harborough station will allow for longer trains with more seats, reducing overcrowding and improving travel for passengers.

“This key enhancement is part of the £1.5bn Midland Main Line upgrade, a historic investment in the line which will transform journeys across the region.”

Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We are delighted to have opened the newly extended platform two at Market Harborough station which will make travelling easier and more comfortable for all those who use it.

“We have carried out a vast amount of work to improve the railway in this area, as well as preserving the heritage of the station building, and we look forward to the final improvements to the customer toilets, platform one waiting room and cycle hub facilities completing.”

Neil Grabham, Customer Service Director for East Midlands Railway, said: “We are really pleased that platform two at Market Harborough station is open from today and we are grateful for the patience and understanding of our customers. The extended platform will make it easier for passengers to get on and off the train.

“Later this year, Market Harborough passengers will also benefit from several other improvements at the station, including the waiting room on platform one and a cycle hub”.

Kevin Harris, Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Ltd. (LLEP), said: “One of Leicestershire’s key strengths is our position at the heart of the country, making us the ideal location for the movement of goods and people.

"This upgrade to Market Harborough station represents a real improvement both for the people of Leicestershire, and for the UK’s transport network as a whole, as journey times on the Midland Main Line are reduced. I’m very proud that the LLEP invested £3m of its Local Growth Fund in the project. This forward-thinking investment will play a huge role in connecting our region and growing our economy for the future.”

Sajeeda Rose, CEO of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership who invested £5million into the project, said, “Strong transport links are the bedrock of a productive region and the works that have taken place around Market Harborough will boost our connectivity by improving journey times.”

“Reliable and high quality infrastructure is critical to giving businesses the confidence to invest in our area and therefore create further opportunities for the whole region to enjoy.”

Tom Sutton, Head of Corporate Partnerships & Membership for Sheffield Chamber, added: “It’s great to see the Market Harborough station upgrade project completed. We welcome the improvements that enable faster services with increased capacity. The Midland Main Line provides a vital hub of connectivity between Sheffield and London that many of our members will utilise for business or commuting purposes.”

“The work at Market Harborough compliments the already completed £200m Derby resignalling project to ensure the provision of a more reliable service for passengers. We look forward to continuing to work with Network Rail to further enhance the service delivery on the Midland Main Line.”

Notes to Editors

Notes to Editor for Local Growth Fund and Midlands Engine

 Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.


Further information

If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact MHCLG (Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government) press office by emailing in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.


Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.



Midlands Engine

Some Midlands Engine key facts:

  • The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.
  • So far the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Midlands.
  • 8 Enterprise Zones have been established in the Midlands Engine since 2012, and 3 zones have been extended. By March 2016 these had attracted almost £1 billion of private investment, and created 85 new businesses and 7,291 jobs.

About Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Ltd (LLEP)

The LLEP is an incorporated strategic body established to drive forward regeneration and growth of the local economy. The LLEP works with partners and government to set out key investment priorities for Leicester & Leicestershire. It also invests funding and aligns partner resources. Through its investments and influences the LLEP drives activities that ensure positive outcomes for the local economy.

To find out more, visit  

Contact information

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Network Rail press office - Amy Brenndorfer
Media Relations Manager

About Network Rail

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 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.

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