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Midland Main Line closures for bridge works ahead of electrification

Network Rail is to carry out reconstruction work on three bridges between Bedford and Wellingborough this month as part of its £1.5bn investment to electrify the Midland Main Line. 

The modifications at Hartops bridge and Radwell Moor End Lane bridge in Bedfordshire, and Harrowden Road bridge in Northamptonshire, are necessary in order to allow the electrification of the railway between Bedford and Sheffield. 

At present, none of the three bridges have the required height for new overhead line equipment that will be installed along the route to power electric trains, and it is not possible to lower the track beneath. Therefore, by raising the height of the bridges, additional space will be created for new overhead lines. 

However, this work means sections of the railway will need to be closed over two weekends in September affecting travel on Sunday September 14 and Sunday September 21. 

And to complete the work it is anticipated that existing road closures will continue until the following dates: 

  • Hartops bridge, up to Christmas 2014
  • Radwell Moor End Lane bridge, late November 2014
  • Harrowden Road, early December 2014 

Phil Verster, Network Rail route managing director, said: “We are undertaking major works on the railway between Bedford and Sheffield to create a railway that is fit for the 21st century and can meet the growing demands for rail travel. 

“We understand that these temporary closures will affect passengers, and people who live and work in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. However, we are working hard to minimise disruption to the public and complete the work as quickly and efficiently as possible.” 

The Midland Main Line runs from St Pancras to Sheffield, via Luton, Bedford, Kettering, Corby, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway, Derby, Nottingham and Chesterfield. 

But Network Rail believes that following its extensive programme to electrify the line, replace tracks, reconstruct bridges, improve signalling and lengthen platforms on the route, there will be electric trains running to Corby by December 2017, Derby and Nottingham by December 2019 and to Sheffield by December 2020. 

David Horne, managing director, East Midlands Trains, said: “This is a major and significant investment scheme that will deliver some of the biggest improvements to our network in decades.” 

(Radwell Moor End Lane bridge image: c.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


Richard   27/12/2014 at 09:05

The bridges are complete with 8 foot high walls. I have sent the network rail chief an email in disgust. You can't even see the railway anymore let alone the view.

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