Corby train delays labelled 'shambolic'

TRAINS may not start running from Corby to the capital until March 21 – more than three months after the original station opening date.

Deputy leader of Corby Council Mark Pengelly has described the situation as 'shambolic' and has called for Government Transport Minister Lord Andrew Adonis to help sort out the situation.

In a letter seen by the Evening Telegraph sent to the Government Office of Rail Regulation, East Midlands Trains admits that it has now applied to Network Rail to start the Corby to St Pancras timetable from late March.

Trains had been due to start on December 14, but last month EMT admitted that was impossible after failing to secure the four new trains it needed.

MP Phil Hope then suggested a new start date of the end of January or mid-February.

But now that too looks unlikely after the letter was sent to the Government stating: "East Midlands Trains is now proposing not to run a service to or from Corby until Friday, March 20, although the availability of train units will continue to be under review during the early part of 2009.

"East Midlands Trains continues to work closely with Department for Transport to introduce these services as soon as possible and it is expected the commencement of the proposed services to and from Corby will be hopefully from Saturday, March 21."

People have been campaigning for two decades to get a railway station back in the town.

Cllr Pengelly said: "This is shambolic. We will have a train station by December 14 so North Northants Development Company and English Partnerships have done their bit. The people who have let us down are the private rail companies. They have had a year to find the trains."

A spokesman for EMT said: "We cannot give a date for the start of the service until we have secured the trains and we haven't done that yet."