Train service will leave from Corby this month

Trains will pull out of Corby's new station on February 23 in what will be an "historic moment" for the town.

A contract for the two trains is to be signed today, meaning an interim service should run from the town to London St Pancras by the end of the month.

A commuter service, the Business Express, will operate during morning rush-hour with a service returning in the evening.

There is also expected to be a Saturday leisure train as part of the initial service and two more trains in the future.

The timetable allows for an hourly train but because East Midlands Trains has only managed to get two trains so far, the service is being restricted.

Deputy council leader Mark Pengelly said: "It's an historic moment for the town as it will be the first train service since the 1950s. People will know the council, along with MP Phil Hope and the North Northants Development Company (NNDC), has been working really hard in getting this.

"We hope the full service will start as soon as possible when we get the other trains."

NNDC spokesman Nick Bolton said the contract should have been signed last week but the snow delayed it.

Mr Bolton said: "Hopefully, with the weather as it is, they can still keep to that date. If this does result in direct services into London, that will be great news. We're working to acquire a third train as quickly as possible and want to make sure this service is of real benefit to people."

An East Midlands Trains spokesman said: "We are hopeful the service will be starting on February 23."

Initially, EMT wanted to open the station on December 14 but failed to get any rolling stock.

But if all goes to plan, the start date for services would be 10 weeks later than originally planned.

MP for Corby Phil Hope said: "Securing a train station was one of my main priorities as a local MP when I was first elected to parliament in 1997.

"We have worked hard for this for 10 years on a complete masterplan for Corby's future.

"In terms of the town's continued successful regeneration, this is a major driver of that regeneration for the town."

David Fursdon from the campaign group Railfuture, which has been campaigning for a Corby train service to London for 20 years, said: "The railway station reopening is seen to be a key factor in the success of the town's regeneration providing better transport links for the borough's citizens and visitors station to Corby."