Extensive work continues to the railway between Bedford and Kettering as part of our Midland Main Line Upgrade Plan

To enable track and signalling to be commissioned and be brought into use, it was necessary to suspend train services from: 22:00 – 24 December until 08:00 – 02 January 2020.

During this time we successfully carried out extensive work to the railway between Bedford and Kettering as part of our Midland Main Line Upgrade Plan.

Work throughout this period included:

  • New switches and crosses south of Kettering station which allows trains to connect to other tracks and to the main line to an electric stabling facility which is being constructed near Kettering station – all 4 tracks are now in place at Kettering sidings, this has involved 1425m of new plain line track and will supplement the Electrification of the MML by providing a stabling facility for the new electric trains.
  • 23km of new track has been laid to produce the fourth line.
  • 1.5 km of embankment works have been carried out.
  • 15 structures have been strengthened.
  • 105 new signals have been installed and 11 new signal gantries.
  • Stations have also seen upgrades as part of the programme in preparation for the fourth line and electrification, by building and extending platforms and adjusting canopies to accommodate overhead cables.

The benefits of the fourth line

The benefits of the additional line will add capacity to the route, enabling longer trains with more seats between Corby, Kettering and London St Pancras, in addition, it will create the capability for 6 trains to London St Pancras per hour, up from the current 5 by the end of 2020.  

This will create:

  • Additional resilience to the operational railway
  • Improved timetable as a result of the additional line as allows for a second train per hour for Corby to be introduced from 2020

In addition to the introduction of the fourth line, the possession during December included works to prepare for electrification.

Electric trains are quieter, meaning less disruption for lineside neighbours and wildlife; and they produce less emissions at the point of use – which means they don’t contribute to local air quality issues often found in urban areas. 

Electric trains are also lighter, meaning that they need less power to do the same journeys.  The power supply for electric trains is supplied by the National Grid and an ever increasing amount of this power is being produced by renewable and low carbon technology, which means less fossil fuels and less emissions, and that means our railways are becoming more environmentally friendly.

Other completed works

Wellingborough North Junction

Between 23 December 2018 and 2 January 2019, we successfully completed the planned works at Wellingborough North Junction.

The work was necessary to facilitate the arrival of the fourth line which is being installed between Sharnbrook, Kettering and Corby in advance of electrification. It will allow the line speed to increase from 25mph to 50mph which in turn will increase capacity and contribute to a reduction of journey times, as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade.

Route clearance work in your area

Work continues throughout the area to prepare for the line’s electrification by the end of 2020. We need to ensure that all structures allow enough height for the new overhead electrification equipment to safely pass under, that bridges we pass over are strengthened where required, that we remove all line side vegetation to meet relevant safety standards and all necessary station modifications and track work is completed.


Recent activity includes the successful completion of clearance work Finedon Road bridge, Wellingborough Viaduct, Irchester Viaduct and Cottingham Road bridge.

We have several more structures that require work and will be posting the most up to date information here, as well as notifying local residents in advance of work commencing.

Track and civils work in your area

As part of the ongoing work to electrify the line by December 2020, we need to complete a programme of track renewals and new track installation.

Below is the table of night time working scheduled for your area in March and April.

We will be working overnight in the following locations on the dates/times below. Please note that the locations listed are our rail access points and work will be taking place at any point between the distances given in the table below. Staff and equipment will be accessing via our rail access

Low Farm Road (51m 2440yds)02 Mar – 27 Mar
29 Mar – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Oakley Cottages (53m)02 Mar – 06 Mar
14 Apr – 16 Apr
Templars Way (56m 1276yds)
Mill Road (56m 0660yds)
Sharnbrook Jn (56m 1056yds)
02 Mar – 27 Mar
29 Mar – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Souldrop (57m 1716yds)02 Mar – 27 Mar
29 Mar – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Odell Viaduct (58m 748yds)08 Mar – 09 Mar
22 Mar – 27 Mar
29 Mar – 10 Apr
Wymington (60m 1540yds)02 Mar – 22 Mar
04 Apr – 05 Apr
11 Apr – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Gooseys ( 61m 308yds)29 Feb – 22 Mar
04 Apr – 05 Apr
11 Apr – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Irchester (62m 1100yds)29 Feb – 27 Mar
29 Mar – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Leyland Industrial Estates (64m 1166yds)
Wellingborough Station South (65m 00yds)
29 Feb – 27 Mar
29 Mar – 01 Apr
02 Apr – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Finedon Road (65m 61320yds)
Harrowden Junction (67m 0yds)
Old Loco Depot (65m 1232yds)
29 Feb – 16 Mar
22 Mar – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Finedon Station Road (68m 220yds)
Burton Latimer (69m 57yds)
29 Feb – 13 Mar
15 Mar – 16 Apr
18 Apr – 30 Apr
Kettering /Kettering Up Sidings (71)
Kettering Station (72m 217yds)
29 Feb – 13 Mar
15 Mar – 29 Mar
31 Mar – 24 Apr
26 Apr – 30 Apr
Little Bowden (82m 726yds)
Market Harborough (83m)
07 Mar – 08 Mar

If you have any feedback about our work, please call our 24 hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or visit our contact page.