Monday 2 Dec 2013

Quicker journeys on the Midland main line as Kettering bridge improvements begin soon

Region & Route:
| North West & Central
| Southern

Network Rail is due to begin work to rebuild the A509 Pytchley Road in Kettering on Monday 9 December as part of a £70m investment to cut journey times on the Midland Main Line between London and Sheffield.

Pytchley Road bridge will close temporarily to all road traffic from Monday to Friday 28 February 2014. A temporary footbridge will be in place for the majority of the time to maintain access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Taking 81 days to demolish and rebuild, once complete, the new bridge will provide the extra headroom needed for trains to travel at higher speed, as the forces involved mean trains tilt to one side as they pass through curved sections of track, and will help to accommodate future installation of overhead line equipment as part of the proposed electrification of the line between Bedford and Sheffield, providing better value for money and minimising disruption.

Access from the north and south to the properties located on Pytchley Road will be maintained throughout and a diversion route has been agreed with Northamptonshire County Council, with signage advising motorists to use Barton Road (A6003) to cross the railway.

Justin Page, Network Rail area director, said: “This work will deliver quicker journeys for the ever-growing number of passengers on the Midland Main Line, helping to bring the region’s biggest economies closer together. Our longer-term plans to upgrade and electrify the line will transform our diesel railway into one of the most modern in Europe, providing more seats, even faster journeys and cleaner and quieter trains.

“We thank people in advance for their patience and are working closely with Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council as we continue our plans to build a better railway for the East Midlands.”

Notes to editors

1. Network Rail has notified residents and is continuing to work with local authorities to raise awareness of the bridge closure.

2. During the closure, the alternative route for vehicular traffic will be:- Barton Road

4. Residents and businesses are encouraged to contact Network Rail’s 24 hour helpline on 08457 11 41 41.

6. Network Rail is increasing the line speeds on the Midland Main Line as part of a commitment to speed up journeys and will cut up to 8 minutes between London and Sheffield. Line speed increases are being made between Leicester and Trent South Junction, on the line to Kettering, around the Toton area, and between Nottingham and Sheffield. Three bridges are also being rebuilt in the Northamptonshire area whilst another is to be demolished.

7. Network Rail would normally provide the additional clearance by lowering the track level under the bridges. However, rebuilding the bridges will provide the space needed for trains to travel faster as well as room needed for future installation of overhead line equipment as part of the proposed electrification of the line between Bedford and Sheffield, providing better value for money and minimising disruption.

8. Network Rail plans to upgrade and electrify the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Sheffield, subject to approval from the Office of Rail Regulation in October 2013. 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

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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.

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