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

Track and signalling works are continuing throughout 2020 to enable the commissioning of the railway between Bedford and Kettering/Corby.

It is necessary to suspend trains along the route during this time, to enable us to do this safely.

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.

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, a series of possessions throughout 2020 have been required to prepare for energisation of the line between Bedford and Kettering/Corby.

The first section was successfully energised on 26 July 2020. Further closures are planned throughout the summer to complete the programme. Other essential works will take place during these closures. Tamping uses 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.

The tamper will travel many miles of track each night and is rarely stationary in any one place for any length of time.  As a result, it is impractical to notify residents of the whereabouts of the machine at a specific date/time, but we will not be outside your property for all the dates given below.

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

Route clearance took place throughout the area to prepare for the line’s electrification.

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.

Bridges

We have undertaken 12 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 and Cottingham Road bridge.

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.

Track and civils work in your area

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.

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.

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

LocationDate
Low Farm Road (51m 2440yds)04 Jul – 10 Jul
14 Jul – 17 Jul
25 Jul – 02 Aug
04 Aug – 08 Aug
15 Aug – 31 Aug
Oakley Cottages (53m)22 Aug – 24 Aug
29 Aug – 30 Aug
Templars Way (56m 1276yds)
Mill Road (56m 0660yds)
Sharnbrook Jn (56m 1056yds)
04 Jul – 06 Jul
10 Jul – 19 Jul
25 Jul – 02 Aug
04 Aug – 08 Aug
15 Aug – 31 Aug
Souldrop (57m 1716yds)01 Jul – 13 Jul
18 Jul – 19 Jul
25 Jul – 02 Aug
04 Aug – 09 Aug
15 Aug – 31 Aug
Odell Viaduct (58m 748yds)01 Jul – 03 Jul
14 Jul – 17 Jul
16 Aug –17 Aug
Wymington (60m 1540yds)04 Jul – 13 Jul
18 Jul – 20 Jul
25 Jul – 02 Aug
04 Aug – 09 Aug
17 Aug – 31 Aug
Gooseys ( 61m 308yds)04 Jul – 13 Jul
18 Jul – 20 Jul
25 Jul – 29 Jul
01 Aug – 02 Aug
04 Aug – 09 Aug
15 Aug – 31 Aug
Irchester (62m 1100yds)01 Jul – 02 Aug
04 Aug – 10 Aug
15 Aug – 31 Aug
Leyland Industrial Estates (64m 1166yds)
Wellingborough Station South (65m 00yds)
01 Jul – 13 Jul
18 Jul – 02 Aug
04 Aug – 22 Aug
24 Aug – 31 Aug
Finedon Road (65m 61320yds)
Harrowden Junction (67m 0yds)
Old Loco Depot (65m 1232yds)
01 Jul – 27 Jul
01 Aug – 02 Aug
08 Aug – 22 Aug
29 Aug – 30 Aug
Finedon Station Road (68m 220yds)
Burton Latimer (69m 57yds)
01 Jul – 11 Jul
14 Jul – 27 Jul
01 Aug – 07 Aug
08 Aug – 09 Aug
15 Aug – 22 Aug
29 Aug – 30 Aug
Kettering /Kettering Up Sidings (71)
Kettering Station (72m 217yds)
01 Jul – 11 Jul
14 Jul – 24 Jul
27 Jul – 31 Jul
01 Aug – 07 Aug
08 Aug – 16 Aug
21 Aug – 22 Aug
29 Aug – 30 Aug
Little Bowden (82m 726yds)
Market Harborough (83m)
04 Jul – 05 Jul
24 Jul – 25 Jul
27 Jul – 31 Jul

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