Construction of a temporary bridge in Kibworth has begun whilst essential work to adapt the existing bridge takes place, paving the way for a fully electrified railway between Kettering and Wigston.
School Road bridge will be demolished this Autumn, before being reconstructed to provide the clearance needed for overhead wires to pass underneath.
The wires will eventually power electric and bi-mode trains through the East Midlands as part of the Midland Main Line upgrade. The multi-million-pound programme supports the Government’s ambitions for decarbonisation and will offer more reliable journeys for passengers.
In the meantime, work to build a temporary footbridge is now underway and is set to be completed by autumn 2023. This will allow residents to access shops and local schools safely whilst work on the permanent bridge takes place.
Network Rail has worked closely with Kibworth Parish Council, Harborough District Council and Leicestershire County Council whilst engaging with the local community. The temporary structure is being erected to allow for the work to be carried out with as little impact on the community as possible.
The new, permanent bridge is due to be completed by spring 2024 and will help to create a cleaner, greener railway for passengers travelling along this section of the Midland Main Line in the future.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Midlands Route, said: “I’m pleased that work is pushing forward to build a temporary bridge whilst the existing bridge at School Road is reconstructed, clearing space for overhead line equipment to be installed underneath.
“We have listened carefully to Kibworth villagers, as well as the parish council, and have worked to agree a diversion route that best suits the needs of the community. The temporary bridge will make sure that those with pushchairs, wheelchairs and scooters can safely access local schools and nurseries in the village.
“I’d like to thank the community for their feedback and support, and I look forward to the new bridge opening next year.”
Photo credit: Network Rail