The first drills have broken ground to launch the next phase of electrification along the Midland Main Line between London and Wigston, Leicestershire.
As part of the Midland Main Line electrification, Network Rail will start to drive steel columns as deep as seven metres into the ground to lay the foundations for the overhead line equipment needed to power electric and bi-mode trains in the future.
The multi-million-pound programme supports the Government’s ambitions for decarbonisation and aims to deliver a greener, more reliable railway to connect passengers right the way between London and Sheffield, via Nottingham and Derby.
The route between London and Corby has already been upgraded and electrified in 2021. This next phase of major work will see a 12-mile section between Market Harborough and Wigston brought up to speed to eventually connect the entire route.
Most of the work will be done overnight while there are no trains running to keep railway workers safe and to keep disruption to a minimum.
This latest programme of piling will run until August 2023 to ready the line for electric wires to be installed throughout 2023.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Starting this next phase of work is a huge step forward for the Midland Main Line Upgrade. It adds to the important work we’ve already completed to transform journeys between London and Corby, and sees us work towards a fully electrified route.
“We’re excited to offer passengers a more reliable, greener railway which is fit for the future, encourages more people to travel by train, and supports economic growth along the way.”