Network Rail is urging rail passengers to check before they travel on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November as the weekend sees a whole host of work to upgrade the Midland Main Line in the latest stage of the £1.5billion investment.

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.

Upgrades will also take place on the southern end of the Midland Main Line which will see Odell Viaduct in Bedfordshire demolished and reconstructed.

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 the ongoing work taking place to renew the lifts at Bedford railway station there is no step-free access to 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. 

Wendy Bell, Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Next weekend sees various stages of work to upgrade the railway as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade and will see two key structures along the route upgraded.

“The work does mean changes for both rail passengers and motorists and we are urging them to plan ahead. We are working closely with train operators to keep disruption to a minimum and we’d like to thank travellers and residents for their patience whilst this takes place.”

Dan Lucas, General Manager South for East Midlands Trains, added: “There is a significant amount of work taking place on the Midland Main Line on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of November. It will mean customers travelling to and from London, particularly to and from stations north of Bedford, will have extended journey times. We would urge everyone to check before they travel and leave plenty of time to make their journey.

“In addition, works at Bedford station to upgrade the lifts means there is no step free access to platforms 2, 3 and 4. If you need assistance, please contact us before you set off and we will help you get where you need to go.”

Passengers can book assistance at Bedford station through their train operator.

Passengers can contact Thameslink by

• Phone: 0800 058 2844

• Online: thameslinkrailway.com/assistedtravel

Passengers can contact East Midlands Trains via

• Phone: 08000 11 33 23

• Online: https://www.eastmislandstrains.co.uk/information/contact-us/ • Text Direct: 18001 08000 11 33 23