New train timetable from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough revealed for May electric revolution

A number of changes are being made

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 16th April 2021, 10:04 am
EMR Connect the new name for the electric trains from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough to London
EMR Connect the new name for the electric trains from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough to London

Train bosses have revealed the new timetable that will come into force in 2021 for services for Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.

Made possible by the £1.5bn Midland Main Line upgrade and the introduction of electric train services between London and Corby, overall it will provide more seats, quicker journeys, earlier morning and later evening services as well as better and more frequent connections to airports.

New branding will come in as EMR Electrics becomes EMR Connect for the Electric Class 360 trains serving Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton and Luton Airport Parkway providing a regular half hourly service to and from London St Pancras from 6am to 10pm.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Wellingborough commuters will not able able to catch the quickest trains to London

For passengers using Wellingborough Station, there will be more seats available but commuters will find services arriving at the capital before 10am reduced from 13 to eight.

Will Rogers, EMR managing director, said: "This timetable change is the culmination of several years of work between ourselves, Network Rail, Department for Transport as well as neighbouring passenger and freight operators.

"It provides significant improvements for passengers with quicker journeys, more seats and a simpler and more resilient timetable.

"As you will be well aware, the impact of coronavirus forced the postponement of the new timetable by six months. During this time, a significant amount of work has been taking place to allow the new timetable to be safely and effectively introduced.

Class 360 trains in Kettering Station's newly refurbished sidings

"This has included Network Rail identifying new Covid-secure methods of work for the installation of the remaining infrastructure alongside our efforts to safely and effectively deliver training for hundreds of drivers and on-train colleagues."

From Sunday, May 16, EMR Connect services will launch between Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway and London St Pancras International.

The Intercity Service will office a quicker service but passengers from Wellingborough will only be able to catch occasional faster trains, having to use Kettering as an interchange or catch the EMR Connect service.

But the train company has said that there are 'no significant changes to journey times' and those wanting to travel first class will be disappointed as the EMR Connect will only run as Standard class only.

First class will be declassified from May for the short-term, with a decision still to be made about whether first class is included in the Class 360 refurbishment plan.

Until the refurbishment of the rolling stock Class 360 trains will also be unable to carry bikes apart from fold-up designs, and units will carry temporary livery pending a full re-paint.

Mr Rogers added: "To enable you to travel with confidence, we’ve boosted our investment in measures to keep our trains and stations clean, and we will continue to make this a high priority throughout 2021.

"As we look ahead to welcoming a higher number of passengers back to our services, we’ve got a number of exciting things happening across our network.

"May 2021 will see the launch of our exciting EMR Connect timetable, linking parts of Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire to London St Pancras with a new, half hourly service throughout the day.

"This will be the first time electric trains will run on an EMR route, helping us with our goal to reduce our carbon footprint."

Changes to the timetable include:

• Earlier, later and faster services to and from stations

• Newly-available ticket machines or brand new Smart Kiosks.

• Trains per hour from London St Pancras rise from five to six with two heading to Corby

• Peak services introduced for Bedford and Wellingborough to help those commuting to stations north of Kettering

• On Sundays a weekday off-peak service level will operate from 2pm

• High Speed Trains withdrawn and services operated by Class 222 Meridians and Class 180s

• Electric Class 360 trains to serve Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton and Luton Airport Parkway

• Provides regular half hourly service to/from London St Pancras from 06:00 to 22:00

Corby will now have double the current number of services to and from London, with an increase in the number of trains arriving into London before 9am from one to six.

For people wanting a later night out in London, the last direct service back to Corby is now four hours later on weekdays at 9.15pm getting in at 10.25pm.

Wellingborough to London journey times remain under 60 minutes with services in both directions every 30 minutes. The first train arrives into London approximately 20 minutes earlier than the current timetable.

Wellingborough passengers travelling to/from Nottingham will need to change at Kettering with most wait times under 10 minutes.

Bedford passengers travelling to/from Nottingham will also need to change at Kettering.

For more information on train times from EMR click here.