Train delays hit Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby and Market Harborough passengers as engineers wait for concrete to set on unstable railway embankment
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Engineers who are working to repair an area of track say it will need to remain closed until mid-week – with services disrupted until Wednesday, November 8.
The track was being monitored for some time because part of the embankment it sits on became unstable, but recent storms worsened the situation to the point where the track that carries trains northbound had to be closed on Thursday, November 2.
Gary Walsh, route director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “I’m really sorry for the disruption this essential work is causing. Our teams have been closely monitoring the land in the Braybrooke area and working hard to keep services running but we have reached the stage where we need to carry out intrusive work to strengthen the land to protect passengers and our staff.
“We’re carefully monitoring progress on site and will reopen the line as soon as we can."
At the weekend train services were already set to be diverted due to track work further down the line, but the extra repairs mean that all trains will need to follow the diversion route.
Engineers are installing soil nails and other equipment to stabilise the land but the concrete and other materials need time to set before the track can be fully reinstated.
Passengers have been told to check their journey before travelling.
No East Midlands Railway (EMR) services will call at Market Harborough with a shuttle service operating between Kettering – Market Harborough – Leicester. It may depart earlier than usual and arrive at their destinations later than usual.
All EMR Connect trains will start/terminate at Wellingborough instead of Kettering and Corby. Intercity services will call additionally at Kettering and Corby.
Rail replacement buses will run between Kettering, Market Harborough and Leicester all-day.
Passengers are being encouraged to check their journey before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator as northbound diversions could lead to longer journey times.
Dave Meredith, customer services director for EMR, added: “We are working closely with Network Rail to ensure the track remains safe for our trains to operate on.
“The ongoing work means that our customers will face extended journey times on our Intercity route from today into next week.
“We are encouraging customers travelling on our Intercity route to continue to check their journey before they travel at https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/.
“We would like to thank our customers for their patience whilst these works take place”.
A spokesman for Network Rail added: “We do not yet have a confirmed re-opening date. Work has progressed well over the weekend and there are various tests taking place on site today to check that materials like the concrete are setting as they need to. We are sorry that we’re unable to give more definite information at this stage and will confirm details for passengers as soon as we can.”