Market Harborough Line Speed Improvement project

Work is now well underway on the Market Harborough Line Speed Improvement programme.

The upgrade work being carried out in Market Harborough will not only deliver a straighter line - enabling a reduction in journey time for passengers travelling between London and Sheffield - but also improved facilities for station users.

Photo 1: New 300 space car park - July 2018

Photo 2: Work starting on new track alignment - October 2018

Photo 3: New track bed and platforms being installed - January 2019

This enhancement project is part of the wider Midland Main Line Upgrade – the largest programme of work on the line since it was completed in 1870. This investment represents the largest modernisation of the railways since Victorian times and will enable better, more comfortable and efficient journeys from 2020, with more seats and less crowding, supporting the growth of the regional economies, connecting people to more job, education and leisure opportunities.

The Market Harborough Line speed project will deliver:

  • A line speed increase through Market Harborough enabling a reduction in journey time for passengers
  • New longer platforms that improve access and reduce stepping distances onto trains whilst also catering for longer trains with more seats
  • Station accessibility will be improved with a new footbridge featuring lifts, opening up travel opportunities for more passengers
  • A new 300 space car park has already been constructed, providing step-free access to platforms for passengers arriving by car.

Drop-in event

We will be hosting a drop-in event at Harborough Indoor Market on Saturday 30 March between 9:00– 17:00. to share the latest progress updates of work at the station, ahead of the six day line closure between 28 May and 2 June (inclusive).

Harborough Market
Northampton Road
Market Harborough
LE16 9HB

Improvement work

We continue to work at Market Harborough installing the new track alignment and new platforms, as well as upgrading the existing track to the north and south of the station area. The majority of the work at the station is carried out during normal working hours. However, on occasion we need access to the track and this means working at night time.

These night time activities include the construction of location cabinet bases and walkways, loading and unloading of materials, tamping, cable running, track and drainage works, signalling installation, walkouts and surveys. These activities require the use of various rail plant, engineering trains, generators and task lighting.

The dates below apply to a six mile length of track stretching either side of the station:

DateStart timeFinish time
Saturday 23 March - Sunday 24 March23:5508:00
Saturday 30 March - Sunday 31 March00:0108:00
Sunday 31 March – Monday 01 April23:5508:00
Sunday 07 April – Sunday 14 April00:0108:00
Saturday 20 April – Sunday 21 April00:0108:00
Saturday 27 April – Sunday 28 April23:4508:00
Saturday 04 May – Sunday 05 May23:4508:00
Saturday 11 May – Sunday 12 May23:4508:00
Saturday 18 May – Sunday 26 May23:4508:00
Tuesday 28 May – Friday 31 May00:0123:59

Looking ahead

Between Tuesday 28 May and Sunday 02 June (inclusive), the railway between Kettering and Leicester will be closed whilst we connect the newly aligned track at Market Harborough. We will be holding a number of drop in events closer to the time and will publicise these in the usual way.

East Midlands Trains will be publishing all relevant rail service information on their website as it becomes available.

Download Market Harborough update notification (PDF)

Local road closures

As part of the Market Harborough Line speed Improvement project, we need to do some work on the overbridge at Great Bowden Road, just north of the station. Work starts on 02 January until early May and there will be a rolling programme of full and partial closures. Access for pedestrians will be maintained at all times.

During this time we will be upgrading the bridge with new parapets and safety features to support the realignment of the track below. To enable the work to be carried out safely, the road will be partially closed during the day and controlled either manually or by traffic lights between 2 January and 28 April 2019. Work will continue in the vicinity of the bridge until early May.

There will also need to be a full closure of the road on consecutive Saturday nights between 20:00 and 07:00 from Saturday 12 January 2019 to Sunday 28 April 2019 when a signed diversion will be in place.

Great Bowden Road closure notification letter (PDF)

Phase 1

New car park
June 2018

We completed a new 300 space car park on the east side of the station. Work to increase this in size to 500 spaces will start in the summer of 2019 once the new track has been installed and tied in to the existing lines, freeing up the required space.

Phase 2

Car park, Station and line speed improvement work
Autumn 2018 – December 2019

  • Build new alignment in old car park on the western side of the station
  • Build new 265m platform 1 and extend platform 2 to accommodate longer trains
  • Build Access for All footbridge with lifts
  • Complete addition of 200 new spaces in car park

Contact us

Anyone wishing to contact us about the project can do so by calling our helpline on 0345 711 4141.