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

Overhead line electrification work near Kettering

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

We will also need to carry out “Tamping”; this involves using an on-track machine to compact the ballast under sleepers to maintain the correct geometry of the track, making it more durable and creates a smoother and quieter ride for passengers and line side neighbours.

The tamper travels many miles of track each night and is rarely stationary in any one place for any length of time.  As a result, it is not always practical to notify residents of the whereabouts of the machine at a specific date/time.

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. Other essential works will take place during these closures.

LocationDate
Lower Farm Road (51m 2440yds)
22 May – 23 May
14 Jun – 19 Jun
Templars Way (56m 1276yds)
Mill Road (56m 0660yds)
Sharnbrook Jn (56m 1056yds)
03 May – 04 May
08 May – 09 May
15 May – 16 May
22 May – 23 May
29 May – 30 May
05 Jun – 06 Jun
14 Jun – 19 Jun
Souldrop (57m 1716yds)
15 May – 16 May
Wymington (60m 1540yds)01 May – 02 May
08 May – 09 May
15 May – 16 May
22 May – 23 May
29 May – 30 May
05 Jun – 06 Jun
12 Jun – 19 Jun
26 Jun – 27 Jun
Gooseys (61m 308yds)01 May – 02 May
08 May – 09 May
15 May – 16 May
22 May – 23 May
29 May – 30 May
05 Jun – 06 Jun
12 Jun – 19 Jun
26 Jun – 27 Jun
Irchester (62m 1100yds)01 May – 03 May
08 May – 10 May
15 May – 17 May
22 May – 24 May
29 May – 31 May
05 Jun – 07 Jun
12 Jun – 21 Jun
26 Jun – 28 Jun
Irthlingboro Road ( 64m 594yds)
Leyland Industrial Estates (64m 1166yds)
Wellingborough Station (65m 242yds)
01 May – 03 May
08 May – 10 May
15 May – 17 May
22 May – 24 May
29 May – 31 May
05 Jun – 21 Jun
26 Jun – 28 Jun
Finedon Road (65m 61320yds)
Harrowden Junction (67m 0yds)
Old Loco Depot (65m 1232yds)
01 May – 02 May
08 May – 10 May
15 May – 17 May
22 May – 24 May
29 May – 31 May
05 Jun – 21 Jun
26 Jun – 28 Jun
Finedon Station Road (68m 220yds)
Burton Latimer (69m 57yds)
01 May – 03 May
09 May – 14 May
16 May – 17 May
22 May – 23 May
30 May – 31 May
05 Jun – 07 Jun
12 Jun – 14 Jun
Kettering (71m 1562yds)
Kettering Station (72m 217yds)
01 May – 02 May
08 May – 10 May
15 May – 31 May
05 Jun – 21 Jun
25 Jun – 30 Jun

Station improvements at Kettering and Wellingborough continue

Station improvement work at Kettering and Wellingborough began in May 2019 and will continue into Summer 2021.

Work at Kettering now completed includes, extended platforms 1,2,3 and 4, modifications to platform canopies to accommodate electrified overhead wires. We will be refurbishing canopies and reinstating some lost architectural details based on historic drawings of the station. We have also improved station lighting, CCTV and public announcement systems. Work to the canopies at Kettering is expected to be complete in summer 2021.

At Wellingborough station as well as building platform 4, we have extended and improved the existing platforms to reduce stepping distance onto trains.  The historic canopies have been refurbished, with The Railway Heritage Trust contributing a significant heritage grant to this part of the scheme.

Wellingborough goods shed
Station improvements at Wellingborough

New waiting shelters, lighting, CCTV and fencing have also been installed and the footbridge has been extended to platform 4. Stanton Cross Developments LLP contributed to the footbridge extension as part of its Stanton Cross development.   The Grade II listed Goods Shed has been renovated to provide a walkway for passengers on platform 1.

Minor snagging works and work to the canopy on Platform 1 are expected to complete in 2021.

Extensive work has already been carried out this part of the route as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, and has 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.
Overhead line electrification work

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.

The new train timetable was introduced on 16 May 2021, and East Midlands Railway launched its new all-electric service between Corby and London St Pancras International, providing a sixth train per hour.

This has created:

  • 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

The first section was successfully energised on 26 July 2020.

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 work completed

Where we have ensured 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.

We have undertaken 13 bridge reconstructions to allow clearances for the Overhead Line Electrification (OLE), as part of the electrification of the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Corby.

This includes the successful completion of clearance work at Station Road Isham, Finedon Road bridge, Wellingborough Viaduct, Irchester Viaduct, Cottingham Road bridge, Bromham Road and Irthlingborough Road.

We have more structures that we are working on, including Bromham Road Bridge and Irthlingborough Road and will be posting the most up to date information here, as well as notifying local residents in advance of work commencing.

The commissioned track and signalling installed by Network Rail between Kettering and Corby was installed in February 2018 – marking the successful completion of this £130million capacity project.

As a key part of the wider Midland Main Line Upgrade, the project has seen a significant amount of work carried out since construction began in 2014 to improve the capacity, speed and resilience of the railway between the two Northamptonshire towns.

We have:

  • Strengthened and improved 14 structures
  • Laid 12km of new track, 4km of drainage and 73km of cabling
  • Installed six signal gantries and carried out improvements to 15km of embankment
  • Increased the speed at which trains can run on the line
  • The project’s track improvement work also raised the maximum possible speed of trains to 90mph in sections that had previously been restricted to 60mph.

From 2021, this upgrade will enable improved services between Corby, Kettering and London – with over 1000 additional extra seats into London during the peak, an increase of around 50%, and faster intercity journey times on greener trains.

Contact Us

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