Passengers can now see how their journey will be affected during a six day closure of the line through Market Harborough as timetables for rail services during this major stage of work have today (Tuesday, 9 April) been released.
Between Tuesday, 28 May and Sunday, 2 June (inclusive), Network Rail engineers will connect 3.8km of newly laid track with the existing alignment, enabling trains to travel through the area at higher speeds.
Network Rail and East Midlands Trains are working together to keep passengers moving during this time and have created a dedicated webpage www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/mhr2019 where passengers can see how their journey will change as diversionary routes and coach replacement services will be in operation.
The work is the latest stage of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which is the biggest investment into the line since it was completed in the Victorian era and has seen a huge amount of work already completed in Market Harborough, such as upgrades to the track and signalling and strengthening rail bridges in the town. Network Rail has also begun work to install an accessible footbridge at the station, which will be open and ready for use on Monday, 3 June- the same day when a full train service resumes.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We are urging passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel as this key stage of the Midland Main Line Upgrade takes place.
“The Market Harborough Line Speed Improvement Project is a vital scheme which will allow trains to travel through the area at higher speeds, as well as bringing improvements to the station itself, such as more car parking spaces and a new footbridge which will improve access at the station.
“We have done as much work as we can without affecting train services, however it is not possible to keep trains running during this phase of the work. We do understand that this will have an impact on passengers which is why we are working extremely closely with train operators to keep passengers moving. We’d like to thank all those affected for their patience whilst this work takes place.”
Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We are working alongside Network Rail to deliver the Market Harborough Line Speed Improvement Project, which will see a vastly improved station by the end of 2019, as well as delivering quicker and more reliable journeys”.
“Although closing the station for six days will inconvenience our passengers, the improvement work that is taking place will make the station more accessible for our passengers in the future”.
“We are advising passengers who are planning on travelling between Tuesday 28 May and Sunday 2 June to visit our website where they can find a full timetable and more information about how it will affect them.”