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Major upgrade work affects Nottingham – London St Pancras rail journeys in June

Network Rail, East Midlands Railway, and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) are coming together to issue their top tips to passengers to keep them on the move during major upgrade work that will close sections of the Midland Main Line in June.

The line, which runs between Sheffield and Nottingham in the north to London St Pancras in the south, is going through a multi-million-pound upgrade to electrify the length of the route, upgrade existing overhead line equipment, improve signalling, and much more to enhance journeys for passengers.

IMG 1933 scaled
© westbridgfordwire.com

This work will enable new bi-mode trains, which operate on electricity from overhead wires or a diesel engine, for East Midlands Railway to be introduced and passengers can look forward to faster, smoother, greener, and more reliable journeys to and from the capital in years to come.

Throughout June, major improvements are continuing, and the three organisations are reminding passengers that journeys are still possible during the closures and have issued their top tips for travel:

  • Check your journey before setting off via nationalrail.co.uk or through East Midlands Railway’s and Thameslink’s websites and social media channels.
  • Allow extra time to complete your journeys as some train diversion routes and rail replacement services will be in place*.
  • Follow the clear signage in place at stations to help complete your journey.
  • Speak to members of station staff if you have any questions about your journey or if you need any support.

On Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, new sections of track and switches & crossings, the specialist equipment that trains use to change tracks from one to another, will be installed, as well as upgrades to overhead line equipment near Bedford to allow new trains to operate at 125mph.

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New overhead lines will be installed between Kettering and Wigston on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June, with further switches & crossings installed near Cricklewood. Overnight overhead line upgrades will be carried out between Luton and Bedford on Sunday 9 as well as Sunday 30 June.

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EMR train at London St Pancras
© westbridgfordwire.com

On Sunday 23 June, the second phase of a major resignalling project will be carried out resulting in no train services between London St Pancras and Wellingborough. This project will result in more reliable journeys for passengers and help signallers make better, more efficient decisions for services.

Separately to the Midland Main Line upgrade work, engineers will be laying new track between Leicester and Peterborough on 22-23 and 29-30 June.

Gavin Crook, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said:

“Throughout June, our engineers will be working to upgrade various sections of the Midland Main Line to make journeys better for our passengers. Our major electrification project, currently between Kettering and Wigston, is continuing and we are installing new track and upgrade existing overhead line equipment.

“We want to assure passengers that, despite the work, passengers can still carry out the journeys they need to, and we are working closely with East Midlands Railway and Thameslink to keep as many trains running as possible and provide alternative transport where necessary.

“I want to thank passengers for their understanding and patience while we carry out this work and encourage them to check before their journey and follow our top tips to keep on the move.”

Philippa Cresswell, Customer Services Director for EMR said: “We are working closely with Network Rail to keep customers moving throughout the engineering work and EMR services will be running where possible.

“We recommend customers planning to travel to or from London on 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, or 23rd June to check their journeys in advance by looking for journey updates on the EMR website.

“Customers journeys may be longer than normal, with rail replacement buses and amended timetables in place.

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience whilst the engineering work to electrify the Midland Main Line takes place. This work will greatly benefit our customers in the future with more reliable, quicker journeys to and from London.

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Govia Thameslink Railway said:

“This vital work being carried out by Network Rail will greatly improve services on the Midland Main Line. For improvements to take place, services will be amended on several dates in June, and we’ll have rail replacement buses in some areas. Please check our website and plan ahead, especially if you live in the Luton and Bedford region.”

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