Rail service could run north of town

DREAMS of a rail link north of Corby could become a reality after rail bosses announced the move is on the agenda for discussion.

Campaigners have been given the clearest signal yet that trains will run north, as well as south to London, now East Midlands Trains said it will be considered in 2010.

It would mean continuing services through Oakham and to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.

The news has delighted members of campaign group Railfuture whose local branch has been calling for a rail service for Corby for several years.

Railfuture member Elizabeth Jordan said: "This is fantastic news. While there has been talk of a rail service coming back to Corby, I have said that it must go north as well as south.

"I am certain this announcement, which has come out of the blue, is due to our lobbying."

The news was made public in the Railfuture magazine by East Midland Trains chairman Terry Holt who was given the information by a senior representative of the company.

Mr Holt said: "When the franchise was being discussed that was one of our recommendations for consideration which we fed into the Department for Transport. Obviously East Midlands Trains has now picked it up as a worthwhile thing to propose.

"It would make sense, as the Oakham and Melton Mowbray stations are managed by East Midlands Trains but the only services that run through the stations are run by Cross Country trains.

"As well as it being great for Corby, it will mean a direct service to London for Oakham and Melton."

East Midlands Trains, which took over the rail franchise for the regional service from Midland Mainline last November, is now waiting to have a proposed timetable overhaul signed off by the Department of Transport.

Trains will travel out of a new 3m station in Corby by December this year.

The proposals have angered Kettering and Wellingborough rail users who will see services north of Kettering to Leicester and Sheffield cut.

The Railfuture group is holding its annual meeting at the Corn Market Hall, London Road, Kettering on Saturday, March 15 at 12.15pm.

It is for members only but from 2pm there will be a presentation by East Midlands Trains managing director Tim Shoveller which will be open to all.