Vital electrification works to take place near Kettering's rail line

Work will continue until mid-April

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 18th February 2021, 3:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th February 2021, 3:04 pm
Credit: Network Rail
Credit: Network Rail

'Essential' works to remove trees and plants close to Kettering's railway will start next week.

Network Rail is carrying out work near the line from Kettering towards Desborough and on to Market Harborough ahead of improvements to electrify the line.

Between Monday, February 22, and Friday, April 16, 2021, workers will remove trees, shrubs and plants which are within 6.5m from the railway. The vegetation work is a vital step towards electrifying this section of the line as part of the £1.5bn Midland Main Line Upgrade and will clear enough space to allow faster, more reliable services to run safely.

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Network Rail say trees which are too close to the railway could fall onto the overhead wires, causing damage to the equipment and disruption to services. If they are not cut back, trees can also cover up signals, block visibility for train drivers or fall onto the track.

Ecological surveys are being carried out before any work begins and measures will be in place to protect wildlife and the environment.

The work will not impact on train services.

Gavin Crook, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We need to remove the trees which are close to the railway between Market Harborough and Kettering so the line can be electrified, allowing faster, more reliable services to run safely.

“We understand how important the trees are for people in the community and we have measures in place to protect the environment. The work is vital for the safety of our workers and passengers as we make progress on the biggest investment in the Midland Main Line since the Victorian times.”

Network Rail has sent letters to people who live near the railway with details about the work. Residents have also been invited to an online event tomorrow where they can find out more information.

The work will take place in sections along the line during the daytime Monday to Sunday, as well as overnight between Saturday and Thursday. Teams will be working to keep noise to a