Power supply boost in latest stage of Midland Main Line Upgrade

Better journeys are on track for passengers in the East Midlands, as Network Rail continue to upgrade the railway between Luton and Bedford this month.

On Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March, engineers will be upgrading the overhead line equipment – which is used to power some trains – south of Bedford.

As part of the largest upgrade to the Midland Main Line since it was completed in 1870, this work will help to deliver better, more reliable journeys for passengers and ultimately connect people to more job, education and leisure opportunities. 

This is the first of several weekends in 2022 where the railway will be closed so that Network Rail teams can boost the power supply safely.

Limited services will run between Luton and Bedford on Saturday (19 March), with buses replacing all trains between the two towns on Sunday (20 March). Passengers are urged to check their journey with National Rail or their train operator before travelling.

Gary Walsh, East Midlands Route Director for Network Rail, said: “We’re at a really exciting stage of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which will see us boost the power supply south of Bedford and take us one step closer to delivering better, more reliable journeys for passengers.

“Although we’ve packaged multiple projects together to keep disruption to a minimum, I’d advise anybody who needs to travel to check their journey in advance as there will be some changes to train services.”

Work to enhance the historic platform canopies at Kettering and Wellingborough stations will also continue over the weekend. While this is done, rail replacement buses will transport passengers between Kettering and Corby.

Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director for East Midlands Railway, said: “This work is another important step in creating a more modern and reliable railway for our customers. Any customers planning to travel on the 19th and 20th of March are advised to check our website and plan their journey in advance, as we will be running a bus replacement service between Corby and Kettering, as well as between Bedford and Luton.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience whilst these important engineering works are taking place.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “All day on Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend, buses will replace our Thameslink trains between Bedford and Luton, with journeys taking up to 30 minutes longer. If you’re one of those affected, then please allow yourself extra time to travel. Thank you for your understanding.”

Photo credit: Network Rail

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