Passengers urged to plan ahead as six days of major work at Leicestershire railway station begins today.
Network Rail engineers have today (Tuesday, 28 May) started a significant stage of work to the railway line in Market Harborough as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade.
Over the next six days, Network Rail engineers will work round the clock to connect almost 4km of newly laid track to the existing alignment, providing a straighter railway line through the station which will enable trains to pass through the area at higher speeds.
Workers will also complete the construction of a new, accessible footbridge at the station, which will open up travel opportunities for more people. Engineers will also finish work to extend platforms at the station, which will allow more trains with more seats to call there.
This work means that no trains are able to travel to, from or through Market Harborough station. All services will resume ready for the start of service on Monday, 3 June. Until this time, East Midlands Trains are running coach replacement services between Market Harborough and Leicester and Market Harborough and Kettering. Diversionary routes for trains will also be in operation, which may mean longer journey times for passengers.
Passengers are urged to check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or by visiting www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/mhr2019
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said:
“We are urging passengers to check before they travel as we begin work to tie in the new track alignment to the existing railway.
“This is a vital stage of the Midland Main Line Upgrade which, once completed will benefit all users of the route and particularly those using Market Harborough station. This work does mean no train services in this area over six days, so we are urging passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel.
“We would like to thank all those affected for their patience whilst this vital work takes place and reassure them that we are working incredibly closely with East Midlands Trains to keep passengers moving.”
Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains said:
“We are advising any passengers who are planning to travel to or from London St Pancras this week to check www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/mhr2019 to see how their journey will be affected.
“Whilst the work is taking place at Market Harborough station, the section of the Midland Main Line which runs between Kettering and Leicester will be closed. Trains will divert around Market Harborough and we are running a replacement coach service to help keep passengers moving.
“We will be doing everything we can to look after passengers throughout the week and we thank everyone for their patience during this time”.
Major bank holiday railway upgrade work completed on the West Coast main line
Train services on the West Coast main line between Euston and Carlisle resumed as normal today after major engineering work over the late May bank holiday weekend.
Sections of track on Europe’s busiest mixed-use (freight and passenger) railway line were replaced.
Overhead electric cables in several areas were upgraded, as well as vital improvements to bridges, tunnels and trackside equipment.
These must-do upgrades and repairs help keep thousands of passengers and products moving every day on a safe, reliable railway.
Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route, said:
“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out our vital Railway Upgrade Plan work over the late May bank holiday. Thousands of Network Rail staff worked around the clock so services could get back to normal this morning.
“Train companies and Network Rail have worked together to minimise disruption for customers by doing a lot of work over the recent bank holidays. The alternative would have been closing the line over multiple weekends throughout the summer.”
The work carried out between Saturday 25 May and Monday 27 May included:
- Removal of canopies on platforms 16/17 at Euston station
- Railway track replacement between Tring and Milton Keynes
- Track foundation improvements in Milton Keynes
- Bridge replacement at Garston in Liverpool
- Track renewal at Acton Bridge station in Northwich
- Improvements to overhead electric lines in Cumbria
- Track foundation cleaning in Carlisle
Passengers are also being advised of the next essential maintenance project on the West Coast main line as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
The line will close for 16 days for vital engineering work in Warrington between 20 July and 4 August.
Network Rail will be upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling on the busy Acton Grange junction, which is used by more than 260 trains every day.
Acton Grange is a key section of the West Coast main line between Crewe and Preston.
While the £27 million Great North Rail Project scheme takes place, many train services will be diverted via alternative routes.
Train operators and Network Rail have agreed a plan to keep passengers moving throughout the work.
The plan may mean passengers have to change onto different trains or buses for sections of their journeys.
For more information on the work and its impact visit www.networkrail.co.uk/WCMLActonGrange
Work starts on new Horden railway station
Work is now underway on a new £10.55 million railway station which is expected to bring an economic boost to east Durham.
The scheme, at Horden, near Peterlee, will link the area into the local, regional and national rail network and support wider regeneration in the area.
Durham County Council has been working closely with Network Rail and Northern Railway on the project, which is being funded by the authority, with £4.4 million from the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund and a grant from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership LEP.
Representatives from the organisations involved gathered at the site on South East View to mark the start of work, which is expected to take about a year to complete.
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said:
“I am very pleased to see the start of work on a development which will bring much improved transport links for residents in the east of the county.
“The development will open up employment opportunities for local people while at the same time providing a direct connection to our coastline for visitors travelling from further afield.”
The first stage of work will see the creation of a 139-space car park as well as bus stops. Work will then follow to develop the station, which will feature two 100-metre platforms with shelters connected by an accessible footbridge.
The project will also see the creation of a new road, footpath and cycleway.
The station is expected to open to passengers in spring 2020, with services every hour both north and south.
A public consultation on the plans in 2016 saw almost 1,400 responses with 98.6 per cent of those who took part saying they would use the station.
The facility will play a significant role in the regeneration of Horden and the wider area, with rail industry projections anticipating that more than 70,000 passengers could use the station each year.
The council is working with its partners on a number of initiatives which will see potential commercial investment, housing renewal and the development of community projects in Horden.
The project received funding of £3.34m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the North East LEP.
Rail Minister Andrew Jones said:
“This demonstrates our commitment to deliver new stations and services right across the country, as we invest £48 billion in the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century.
“I am pleased that the new station at Horden will open up the north east of the county, improve transport links for residents and create more jobs for local people.”
Ray Browning, programme manager at the North East LEP, said:
“This will be a significant development for the people and businesses of Horden and the surrounding areas. The station will not only improve access to employment sites and education facilities in the Tees, Tyne and Wear conurbations but also bring visitors to the Durham Heritage Coast, giving a welcome economic boost.”
Anna Weeks, Northern Railway regional director for the North East, said:
“We are really excited by this great opportunity on our Durham Coast route and are grateful to Durham County Council for their commitment in delivering this.
“The opening of Horden station will help connect the local community to Middlesbrough and Newcastle as well as our coastal destinations of Whitby and Saltburn and further afield to the National Rail Network. Along with our train modernisation programme, with the removal of the pacer units in 2019 and introduction of digital trains on the line, it’s an exciting time for train users in the region.”
Jonjo Ward, sponsor for Network Rail, said:
“This is a vital project which will improve transport links across the North East and I am delighted to be able to mark the beginning of work.
“We continue to work closely with Durham County Council, the Department for Transport and North East Local Enterprise Partnership on this scheme and we look forward to the benefits it will bring for rail passengers.”