Monday 24 Feb 2014

Public event gives details of road diversion for Bedford bridge improvement

Region & Route:
London North Eastern & East Midlands

Members of the public are invited to attend an information event on a road diversion required to rebuild a rail bridge higher to help accommodate future installation of overhead line equipment.

Network Rail is rebuilding Sharnbrook road bridge, Souldrop in Bedfordshire as part of their longer term plan to electrify the line between Bedford and Sheffield by 2019, providing faster, quieter and more reliable journeys for passengers.

An information event will be held at The Methodist Church, Park Lane, Sharnbrook, MK44 1LS on Wednesday 5 March, between 4pm and 8pm. Members of the team from Network Rail will be on hand to answer questions.

Phil Verster, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “Our plan to deliver this work fully illustrates our firm commitment to transform the railway for the ever-growing number of passengers using the Midland Main Line.

“We thank people in advance for their patience and will continue to work closely with Bedford Borough Council and local parish councils as we continue our plans to build a better railway for the East Midlands.”

Sharnbrook Road bridge, Souldrop will close temporarily to all road traffic from Monday 24 March to August 2014.

Access from the north and south to the properties located on Soulbrook Road and Sharnbrook Road will be maintained throughout.

Signage will advise motorists to use Templars Way to cross the railway.

Notes to editors

1. Network Rail continues to work with Bedford Borough Council and local authorities to raise awareness of the bridge closure.

2. Residents and businesses are encouraged to contact Network Rail’s 24 hour helpline on 08457 11 41 41 if they have any questions

3. Network Rail would normally provide the additional clearance by lowering the track level under bridges. However, rebuilding the bridge will provide the space needed for trains needed for future installation of overhead line equipment as part of the proposed electrification of the line between Bedford and Sheffield, minimising disruption.

4. Network Rail plans to upgrade and electrify the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Sheffield. This investment would see more seats, quicker journeys and cleaner and quieter trains. Current plans are to electrify to Corby by 2017, to Leicester, Derby and Nottingham in 2019 and to Sheffield in 2020.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969

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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