Rail travellers in Corby may have more trains to choose from in the future.
Exploratory work with a view to re-laying a second line between the town and Kettering to allow more passenger trains to use the route, is under way.
The second line was removed in the mid 1980s, but following the success of the re-opening of Corby Railway Station in 2009 and the electrification of the railway line to Corby, which is due to be completed by October 2017, the second line between Corby and Kettering is needed to cope with the expected increase in passengers.
David Fursdon, of Railfuture East Midlands branch, said: “I am delighted to hear of this work being undertaken, and it is a clear demonstration we need these infastucture improvements to offer better passenger rail services to and from Corby.
“The latest usage figures from Corby were up almost 10 per cent on the previous year and proves rail travel is increasingly popular to and from Corby and deserving for this work to be done.
“There has not yet been confirmation a second platform will be brought back into use at Corby station but I am hopeful this will happen.
“This would certainly be another great asset and welcome for the benefit of rail users.”
Corby MP Andy Sawford said: “The re-opening of Corby train station five years ago was one of Labour’s proudest achievements for Corby and the laying of a second line to Corby and electrification plans could be great news as long as there is a commitment to more services and decent trains.
“The future is very much up in the air at the moment as East Midlands Trains have been given a sixth slot each hour into St Pancras but haven’t decided if they will increase the frequency of the Corby service.
“There is also doubt about whether the electric trains that are needed will be new or old rolling stock.
“The current Meridian trains are good and I don’t want to see the quality of the trains on the line going downhill.
“Another key issue I have raised with the minister for rail is the question mark hanging over northbound services if electrification stops at Corby, which is the current plan, it will mean the trains could not go onward northbound.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We will put a second track into Corby by 2016.
“We are doing this to provide capacity for more passenger trains to operate out of London St Pancras as well as accommodating more freight, which is essential to the economy.
“A small amount of work was completed on this scheme at Christmas.
“The main work is scheduled for Easter next year.”