Network Rail is advising passengers in the East Midlands to check before they travel on the weekend of 13/14 April as the latest stage of the Midland Main Line Upgrade takes place.

The work will see three sets of switches and crossings, specialist equipment which allows trains to move from one piece of track to another, installed. The work follows on from a similar project which took place in December 2018.

This project is a major part of the construction of an additional line between Bedford and Kettering as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade and will create the capability for six trains to London St Pancras per hour, up from the current five by the end of 2020.

To allow the work to take place safely, some lines between Bedford and Kettering will be closed meaning that a reduced train service will be in operation. Two trains an hour will run between London St Pancras and Bedford. There will also be a coach replacement service between Bedford and Corby, which will connect into an hourly rail service between Corby and Nottingham, and an hourly service between Corby and Sheffield via Kettering and Derby.

Passengers planning to travel during this time are strongly advised to check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or on the East Midlands Trains website.

Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We would like to urge passengers planning on travelling on the weekend of 13/14 April to plan ahead as there will be a reduced service in operation, as well as coach replacement services.

“There is never an ideal time to carry out work on the railway. We do so at weekends as this is a time when fewer people travel, however we do appreciate that this can still have an impact which is why we are working extremely closely with train operators to keep passengers moving.

“The Midland Main Line Upgrade is the biggest investment into the railway since the Victorian era and we look forward to passengers reaping the benefits once completed.”

Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “The work taking place over the 13/14 April weekend represents another key milestone in improving the Midland Main Line.

 “We are working alongside Network Rail to minimise the disruption as much as possible, but we know that it has impacted on our customer’s journeys, and we would like to thank our customers for their continued support whilst this work takes place.”