Network Rail has released new timelapse footage showing the scale of work already completed on the Midland Main Line Upgrade as passengers are advised to check before they travel as further work takes place this weekend.
On Saturday (October 13) and Sunday (October 14), Network Rail is carrying out improvements to the line throughout the region as part of an ongoing £1.5 billion investment programme.
The work taking place this weekend includes the demolition of Earwig Lane railway bridge in Bedfordshire, which will be reconstructed to allow for the safe clearance of overhead line equipment as the line is electrified from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford.
The line speed improvement work at Market Harborough also continues over the weekend, with the removal of redundant switches and crossings, the specialist piece of equipment which allows trains to move from one piece of track to another.
Other work taking place includes the installation of new signalling equipment in Wellingborough and work to support the installation of new track between Bedford and Kettering.
Due to the nature of the work, buses will replace trains between Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough and Leicester, as well as between Kettering and Corby.
Work to install lifts at Bedford railway station continues and, due to the nature of the work, there is currently only step-free access to platform 1.
Passengers who are unable to use the stairs and are travelling from Bedford will be given the option of either using southbound trains from Platform 1, which may not be the next service, or taking a free accessible taxi to Luton Airport Parkway or Wellingborough, for the north.
Passengers travelling to Bedford from the south will need to alight at Luton Airport Parkway where a free accessible taxi will help them continue their journey.
Passengers travelling from the north will alight at Wellingborough for a free taxi to Bedford.
These pieces of work mark the latest stage in the Midland Main Line Upgrade and follows on from the completion of the Derby Resignalling Project, which saw 79 days of major engineering work and a £200million investment to upgrade the track and signalling at Derby railway station, providing a more modern and reliable railway for passengers.
Since the Midland Main Line Upgrade began more than 30km of new track has been laid and over 300 masts, which will hold overhead line equipment, installed.
The timelapse footage shows work already completed, including upgrading railway bridges and structures along the route.
Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “We are currently carrying out the biggest upgrade to the Midland Main Line since the Victorian era.
“On Monday, Network Rail successfully completed the Derby Resignalling Project and the work taking place this weekend shows the continued investment into the railway in the East Midlands.
“There’s never an ideal time to work on the railway.
“We do so at weekends as it causes less disruption, however, we do appreciate that this work will have an impact and we’d like to apologise in advance for any disruption caused and thank passengers for their continued patience whilst we work to upgrade the route.
“We continue to work closely with East Midlands Trains to keep passengers moving.
“The upgrade to the Midland Main Line will ensure we have a more modern and reliable railway which is equipped to meet the needs of the communities and economies which our railway serves.”
Adam Piddington, customer experience director at East Midlands Trains, added: “Network Rail are carrying out significant works this weekend which means we will not be able to run any trains between Bedford and Leicester and between Kettering and Corby.
“We will be operating a full replacement bus service throughout this time and we would encourage customers to plan ahead and leave extra time for their journey.”
To see the timelapse footage, click here