Tuesday 9 Oct 2018
Road closures and changes to train services in Leicestershire as Network Rail continues to upgrade the Midland Main Line
Passengers and motorists in Leicestershire are being advised to plan ahead as work to upgrade the Midland Main Line continues this week with changes to train services and road closures in the region.
On Saturday, 13 October and Sunday, 14 October, Network Rail is carrying out various improvements to the line throughout the region as part of an ongoing £1.5billion investment programme.
The work taking place this weekend includes the demolition of Earwig Lane railway bridge in Bedfordshire, which will be reconstructed to allow for the safe clearance of overhead line equipment as the line is electrified from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford.
The line speed improvement work at Market Harborough also continues over the weekend, with the removal of redundant switches and crossings, the specialist piece of equipment which allows trains to move from one piece of track to another.
Other work taking place includes the installation of new signalling equipment in Wellingborough and work to support the installation of new track between Bedford and Kettering.
Due to the nature of the work, buses will replace trains between Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough and Leicester, as well as between Kettering and Corby.
Work to install lifts at Bedford railway station continues and, due to the nature of the work, there is currently only step-free access to platform 1.
Passengers who are unable to use the stairs and are travelling from Bedford will be given the option of either using southbound trains from Platform 1, which may not be the next service, or taking a free accessible taxi to Luton Airport Parkway or Wellingborough, for the north.
Passengers travelling to Bedford from the south will need to alight at Luton Airport Parkway where a free accessible taxi will help them continue their journey. Passengers travelling from the north will alight at Wellingborough for a free taxi to Bedford.
There will also be road closures in Market Harborough to allow Network Rail engineers to upgrade rail bridges in the town. Kettering Road will be closed from 06:00 on Friday, 12 October until 06:00 on Monday, 22 October. During this time, the bridge will be strengthened.
Scotland Road is currently closed to allow the rail bridge above it to be upgraded. The road was due to reopen on Monday, 8 October, but due to additional repairs identified following a vehicle striking the bridge, it will remain closed until 17:00 on Wednesday, 10 October. Both of these road closures have clearly signposted diversionary routes and pedestrian access is maintained.
There will be two further road closures later this year and Network Rail will share information on this in due course.
As the Midland Main Line Upgrade continues, Network Rail has released new timelapse footage showing the scale of work already completed on the project.
These pieces of work mark the latest stage in the Midland Main Line Upgrade and follows on from the completion of the Derby Resignalling Project, which saw 79 days of major engineering work and a £200million investment to upgrade the track and signalling at Derby railway station, providing a more modern and reliable railway for passengers.
Since the Midland Main Line Upgrade began over 30km of new track has been laid and over 300 masts, which will hold overhead line equipment, installed. The timelapse footage shows work already completed, including upgrading railway bridges and structures along the route.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “We are currently carrying out the biggest upgrade to the Midland Main Line since the Victorian era.
“On Monday, Network Rail successfully completed the Derby Resignalling Project and the work taking place this weekend shows the continued investment into the railway in the East Midlands.
“There’s never an ideal time to work on the railway. We do so at weekends as it causes less disruption, however, we do appreciate that this work will have an impact and we’d like to apologise in advance for any disruption caused and thank passengers for their continued patience whilst we work to upgrade the route. We continue to work closely with East Midlands Trains to keep passengers moving.
“The upgrade to the Midland Main Line will ensure we have a more modern and reliable railway which is equipped to meet the needs of the communities and economies which our railway serves.”
Adam Piddington, Customer Experience Director at East Midlands Trains, added: “Network Rail are carrying out significant works this weekend which means we will not be able to run any trains between Bedford and Leicester and between Kettering and Corby.
“We will be operating a full replacement bus service throughout this time and we would encourage customers to plan ahead and leave extra time for their journey.”
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.