06 March 2023
Infrastructure transformed in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire this month ahead of electrification.
Vital work to adapt three bridges and lower track to clear the way for electrification between Kettering and Wigston will get underway this March. Bridges in Braybrooke in Northamptonshire, Great Glen and Newton Harcourt in Leicestershire will be demolished, reconstructed or have the track beneath them lowered to clear height for overhead wires to pass underneath. The wires will eventually power electric and bi-mode trains through the towns as part of the Midland Main Line upgrade.
The multi-million-pound programme supports the Government’s ambitions for decarbonisation and will offer more reliable journeys for passengers. The work involves:
- Demolishing a farm access low bridge in Braybrooke, where a higher replacement bridge has already been installed around 20m metres down the line
- Demolishing a bridge on Station Road in Great Glen and reconstructing it
- Lowering the tracks under Wistow Road bridge in Newton Harcourt
- Network Rail engineers will also continue to drive piles into the ground and install masts to carry the overhead wires through Kibworth
The work promises to create a cleaner, greener electrified railway for passengers travelling along this section of the Midland Main Line in the future. To complete the work safely, there will be changes to services between Sheffield, Nottingham, Corby and London St Pancras across three weekends in March - on Sunday 12, Saturday 18, Sunday 19, and on 25 and 26 March.
It's recommended that passengers plan ahead and check their journey with National Rail or their train operator’s website. Industrial action will also impact services across the region while this work takes place, with planned strikes and an overtime ban in March and April.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail said: “In order to create an electric Midland Main Line that’s fit for the future, we need to change some of the structures through Leicestershire and clear space for our train-powering equipment. We’re really sorry if this impacts people’s plans and we’ve worked closely with train operators to plan diversions and offer bus replacements to keep people moving.”
Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director for EMR said: “We are asking any customers planning to travel to or from London on Sunday 12, Saturday 18, Sunday 19, and on 25 and 26 March to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to complete their journey. Rail Replacement buses will keep passengers moving between Market Harborough and Kettering/Leicester.
"Strike action will also affect EMR services on Saturday 18 March and we will be running a significantly reduced train service on all of our routes. Please check the EMR website for full details. We would like to thank our customers for their patience whilst the engineering work along the Midland Main Line is taking place.”
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