CHECK BEFORE TRAVELLING: Weekend work continues on £1.5bn Midland Main Line Upgrade

Midlands main line
Credit: Network rail

Work will continue this weekend on the £1.5billion upgrade of the Midland Main Line which will improve journeys for passengers.

On 4/5 and 11/12 July, work will take place to commission and test two new substations on the route between Bedford and Ampthill.

Work will also take place to improve track on the route as well as to install overhead line equipment.

To allow the work to take place safely, some lines on the Midland Main Line will have to close:

  • Saturday, 4 July – No trains will be able to call at Market Harborough or Leicester after 10 pm.
    • A rail replacement bus service will operate between Kettering, Market Harborough and Leicester and also between Leicester and Loughborough.
  • Sunday, 5 July – No trains will be able to call at Market Harborough or Leicester.
    • A rail replacement bus service will operate between Kettering, Market Harborough and Leicester and between Leicester and Loughborough.
  • Saturday, 11 July – Trains to and from Sheffield and Nottingham will start and terminate at Market Harborough.
    • Buses will replace trains between Market Harborough and Luton, and trains operated by Thameslink will run between Luton and St Pancras.
  • Sunday, 12 July – Trains to/from Sheffield and Nottingham will start/terminate at Corby, and will not call at Leicester or Market Harborough.
    • Buses will operate between Loughborough and Luton and between Corby and Luton.
    • Thameslink trains will run between Luton and London St Pancras.

Arrangements may be subject to change and passengers should visit the National Rail Enquiries website for the latest information before travelling.

Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “This work is a key part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which will bring significant benefits for passengers when complete.

“Over these weekends, we’ll be installing further overhead line equipment, as well as commissioning two new substations, which will help provide more power for the railway.

“We urge people to continue to follow Government guidance, which is to avoid public transport if possible. However, if you must travel, please check before travelling and allow additional time for your journey.”

Lisa Angus, Transition and Projects Director for East Midlands Railway, said “We are advising any passengers who may need to travel on the Midland Main Line over the first two weekends of July to check our website as there are a number of significant changes to our services that may affect your journey.

“As always, we thank our passengers for their patience whilst this crucial work is taking place. When the work is complete, it will improve journeys for passengers in the future”.

Thameslink Customer Services Director, Jenny Saunders, said Thameslink passengers would not be affected on the first weekend of work, but added: “From 11 pm on Saturday, 11 July, we will have a reduced service between London Blackfriars and Bedford, and from midnight until 8:15 am on Sunday, 12 July, there will be buses instead of trains between Luton and Bedford.

“During the pandemic, people should already be asking themselves, ‘Is my journey really necessary?’ If it is, then please check your journey online and allow plenty of extra time because of this essential work.”

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  1. Maybe one or two Class 360s could be tested on the newly electrified Midland Main Line before they are cascaded from Greater Anglia late this year. Which they will operate the London St. Pancras-Kettering & Corby electric stopper and semi-fast stopper services.

    • Also East Midlands Railway could of inherited the Class 379 Electrostar units instead of the Class 360 Desiros.

  2. Be looking forward to seeing the EMR Class 360s and Class 810s running on electric under the live 25,000v OHL as the electrification on the Midland Main Line could be completed before Christmas or nearing the end of 2020. But Network Rail are doing a fantastic job.


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