InterCity trains stopping at Wellingborough again but fewer services from Corby and Kettering as Christmas timetables are revealed

Engineering works will affect East Midlands Railway journeys to London from December 27 to January 4

Friday, 19th November 2021, 11:22 am
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 11:22 am
Wellingborough passengers will see InterCity trains stopping again — for a few days at least

InterCity trains will be back for Wellingborough rail passengers — for a few days at least.

Timetables are being rewritten between Christmas and New Year as engineering work reduces line capacity between Corby, Kettering and London.

It means Corby will have just one direct train to the capital an hour instead of two and Kettering three instead of the regular four.

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Yet Wellingborough will see more comfortable InterCity trains from Nottingham and Sheffield stopping regularly instead of the much-maligned all-electric Connect services introduced last May.

An East Midlands Railway spokesman said: "Some stops at Wellingborough have added to help make travel easier for our passengers over the Christmas period.

"With the reduced amount of trains running we can look to increase options available without affecting the other service patterns. This isn’t possible outside the Christmas period. "

Passengers travelling between Christmas and New Year are advised to check journeys via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.

All EMR services will start and terminate at Luton until noon on December 27 although passengers can use Thameslink services to reach the capital.

After that, one electric service will run from Corby to London an hour calling at Kettering and Wellingborough while one InterCity from Nottingham will call at Kettering and Wellingborugh each hour. One train per hour from Sheffield will call at Kettering but not all will also serve Wellingborough.

Corby passengers will also see shuttle trains to Kettering connecting them to mainline services.

No train services are timetabled to run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day so Network Rail engineers will start work on replacing a stretch of track just outside St Pancras International early on December 25 and carry on until the big return to work on January 4.

It is the final stage of an upgrade to 1970s track between Kentish Town and St Pancras which started in 2017 promising smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers and will also affect Thameslink services from Bedford and Luton.

EMR customer service director Neil Grabham said: “We know that many of our passengers will be using our train services to travel around and visit family and friends over the Christmas period.

“Any passengers planning on travelling between December 27 and January 4 are advised to check our website and plan their journey in advance, as we will be running a reduced EMR Intercity service to and from London St Pancras.

“We would like to thank passengers for their patience whilst this crucial engineering works are taking place."

Gary Walsh, Network Rail’s East Midlands route director, said: “As most people open their presents and enjoy the festivities, our teams will be taking the opportunity to make major progress on the final stages of this programme.

"The current slab track has served this busy line well for 40 years, but we’re replacing it now to make sure trains can continue running safely and reliably for years to come.

“We can only complete this work safely when a reduced train service is running.

"I want to thank passengers for their continued patience and ask anyone who plans to travel over the Christmas period to check their journey, plan ahead and allow plenty of time.”