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Major upgrade work to Midland Main Line will allow quicker, more reliable journeys

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Major upgrade work as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade project is set to continue in January and February with improvements to be made to overhead line equipment on selected weekends.

Network Rail engineers will be working south of Bedford to improve current overhead line equipment, alongside work to continue to electrify the section of line between Kettering and Wigston.

The two projects will mean that passengers will be able to experience more reliable, faster, quieter, and greener journeys on new electric and bi-mode trains in the future.

Gavin Crook, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “This work is vital in improving the journeys of passengers as they travel by train on the Midland Main Line. The work being carried out near Bedford and the electrification of the line between Kettering and Wigston means journeys will be more reliable, quicker, more frequent, and greener too.

“We always try and deliver work at less disruptive times for passengers and a lot of this period of work is overnight because of that.

“We want to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while these major upgrades are carried out and encourage them to check before travelling.”

On the weekends of 20-21 January and 10-11 February, buses will replace late night Saturday and early morning Sunday trains between Luton and Bedford. Train services will run as normal until 23.40 on Saturday nights and from 08.00 on the Sunday mornings with buses replacing timetabled trains in between.

This is to allow engineers to upgrade overhead line equipment south of Bedford to allow new trains to run at 125mph in the future.

Throughout the weekend of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January, buses will replace trains between Bedford and Luton with a train shuttle service between London St Pancras and Luton, calling at Luton Airport Parkway.

An amended East Midlands Railway northbound service will start from Bedford over the weekend, and on Saturday 28 (only) Thameslink’s usual Bedford to Horsham services will only run between London Bridge and Horsham.

On Sunday 4 February, the Kettering to Wigston electrification project means that no trains will call at Market Harborough, with a rail replacement bus service in place serving passengers between Leicester, Market Harborough and Kettering.

There also be a reduced train service from Sheffield and Nottingham to London St Pancras which will divert around the engineering work.

Passengers are encouraged to check their journeys before travelling throughout the affected weekends via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.

Image credit: Network Rail

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