Rockingham Road bridge and trackwork.(Network Rail Images)
Network Rail is urging passengers in Bedfordshire and Leicestershire to check before they travel on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November as the £1.5billion investment into the line continues.
Network Rail engineers will continue on the Market Harborough Line Speed Improvement Project and will carry out work to the track bed to enable increased train speeds and improved journey times by straightening the line.
Work will also take place to strengthen Rockingham Road bridge in Market Harborough. The bridge needs to be strengthened so that it is ready to carry the additional ballast which is required to support the higher line speed.
To allow this work to be carried out, the road will close on Friday 9 November and reopen on Monday 19 November. Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the work.
As part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, Odell Viaduct near Odell and Sharnbrook needs to be raised to allow for the safe clearance of overhead line equipment in anticipation of electrification of the line between London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford.
Between Friday, 10 November and Monday, 12 November, Network Rail workers will demolish and reconstruct the bridge during 54 hours of round the clock work. Train services will return to normal on Monday, 12 November with the work completing before the first train service.
Work is also taking place further north on the Midland Main Line at Market Harborough. Network Rail engineers will carry out work to the track bed to enable increased train speeds and improved journey times by straightening the line. Network Rail will also carry out work to strengthen Rockingham Road bridge in the town.
All of this work means a reduced service between London St Pancras and Bedford. These services will connect into replacement buses between Bedford and Leicester and Kettering and Corby.
Passengers planning on travelling are urged to check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or with East Midlands Trains. Due to work taking place to renew the lifts at Bedford railway station there is no step-free access to the station from platforms 2, 3 or 4. Customers who will be travelling during this time and need assistance are urged to plan ahead and book assistance for their journey, especially those that may be travelling to attend events on Remembrance Sunday.
Network Rail engineers have been on site at Odell Viaduct since August 2018 and have worked to install a temporary footbridge. Once the bridge has been reconstructed, Network Rail engineers will remain on site to remove waste materials, reconstruct the parapet walls, reinstate services and tarmac the road.
To allow the work to take place, Back Lane has been closed since September 2018. Pedestrian access has been maintained via a temporary footbridge.
Wendy Bell, Sponsor at Network Rail, said:
Dan Lucas, General Manager South for East Midlands Trains, added:
Passengers can book assistance at Bedford station through their train operator.
Passengers can contact Thameslink by
• Phone: 0800 058 2844
• Online: thameslinkrailway.com/
Passengers can contact East Midlands Trains via
• Phone: 08000 11 33 23
• Online: https://www.