Track and signalling

02.03.18

Network Rail to begin ‘crucial’ track straightening work on Midland Main Line

Network Rail engineers are set to complete the first section of a major line speed upgrade in Market Harborough this weekend.

The work will see track straightened, allowing trains to travel through the section more quickly and increasing the overall line speed on the Midland Main Line.

However, due to disruption caused by the upgrades, Network Rail has warned that no trains will call at Market Harborough station on four Sundays between 4 and 25 March, instead replaced by buses.

This is the latest in a programme of work completed between the infrastructure manager and East Midlands Trains, with earlier improvements including new car park and access road developments at the station.

“The work taking place at Market Harborough is a crucial part of the long-term plan for change on the Midland Main Line Upgrade which will provide better journeys for the growing number of people using the railway,” explained Jake Kelly, managing director of East Midlands Trains.

“People who have been travelling through the station will have already seen work taking place on the new car park which is expected to open in early spring and this next phase of work will see the start of major work on the infrastructure.

“Inevitably, there is some short-term pain whilst this improvement work is carried out, and along with Network Rail, we have tried to limit the disruption as much as we can. However, it does mean that trains will be replaced by buses from Market Harborough on Sundays during March and we’d advise customers to check their journeys before travelling.”

Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, added: “We’re delighted to have moved onto the next phase of this major upgrade, which will see the track straightened.

“This work will mean trains can travel at faster speeds along this section, resulting in a reduced journey time for passengers and we hope the improvements will help to drive economic growth in the East Midlands.”

McIntosh went on to thank passengers for their patience while the delays are in place, saying that Network Rail and East Midlands Trains had worked to keep disruption to a minimum.

The Midland Main Line has been the subject of some controversy in recent times, with transport secretary Chris Grayling deciding to cancel electrification north of Kettering.

The secretary of state told the Commons Transport Committee in mid-January that his decision came down to finances, and a lack of value for money provided by the project.

Top image: Network Rail

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Icn   02/03/2018 at 20:02

The railway approaches Market Haborough from the south east and then turns north to pass through the station. Assuming that the station is to remain in largely the same place, I would imagine that the work involves easing the curve in the line so as to pass through the station on a slightly different alignment and so permitting higher speeds. I cannot imagine that the line is to be "straightened".

Huguenot   02/03/2018 at 21:00

The minutes saved by easing the curve at Market Harborough will all be squandered by extended journey times for EMT south of Bedford from May 2018. Key business trains such as 'The Master Cutler' and 'The Robin Hood' will have their net journey times extended by between 8 and 13 minutes from the present timetable merely to accommodate Thameslink's rubbish Class 700s. What's more important, competitive inter-city journey times or pandering to London commuters?

Andrew Gwilt   02/03/2018 at 23:39

At least there is a lot of work to be done to the Midland Main Line. Since the electrification has been postponed and will only see parts of the MML electrified from Bedford to Kettering and Corby in few years.

Mmlred   06/03/2018 at 11:32

Icn, they're pretty much demolishing the existing station and replacing it with a straight platform at a new angle. The only notable part that will remain is the station entrance building. Huguenot - I doubt the Bedford commuters subjected to an hour of "ironing boards" and reduced intercity services to the capital consider themselves "pandered to at this point - wilfully ignored, more like!

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

20/09/2018ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

A scathing report into the May timetable chaos has blasted transport secretary Chris Grayling, Network Rail, and the DfT’s handling of the ... more >
Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

20/09/2018Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

The Transport Committee has urged the DfT to “be more specific about the economic rebalancing effects it intends to achieve&rdquo... more >
DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

20/09/2018DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

The government has decided to pull the plug on the CrossCountry franchise competition as a result of its rail review announcement today. Bec... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18/09/2018The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Even now, there is no concrete plan, nor timescales, for the interim operator of this franchise. From our inquiry, we cannot be sure, and cannot reassure passengers or public, that the arrangements ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

18/09/2018Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will be transformational for the north – it will change the way people live, work, and play. It will rebalan... more >
Innovation through people and technology

18/09/2018Innovation through people and technology

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety at the ORR, picks out the key industry challenges to focus on based on... more >
Why we all must mind the gap

18/09/2018Why we all must mind the gap

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), explains how we can all ensure the UK’s next generation... more >
3D printing: from virtual to real

11/09/20183D printing: from virtual to real

Like so many other technological advancements, 3D printing has moved from being the stuff of science fiction, through niche industrial applicatio... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >