Thinking about catching a train from Corby, Kettering or Wellingborough this weekend?

Engineering works will add two hours extra to essential journeys from Northamptonshire into London

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 9th July 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 11:30 am

Rail passengers heading for London from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough this weekend will take a whopping THREE HOURS to get there due to engineering work.

Health officials are still advising only essential workers should use public transport during the Covid-19 crisis.

But the usual 59-minute hop from Kettering to the capital will become a 2hr 53min marathon as buses replace trains all weekend while work continues on the now delayed £1.5bn Midland Main Line upgrade.

Train operator East Midlands Railway's Transition and Projects Director, Lisa Angus, said: "We are advising any passengers who may need to travel on the Midland Main Line over the weekend to check our website as there are a number of significant changes to our services that may affect your journey.

“As always, we thank our passengers for their patience whilst this crucial work is taking place. When the work is complete, it will improve journeys for passengers in the future.

"Social distancing measures will be in place so capacity on rail replacement buses and trains is limited.

"If you are travelling for leisure, please consider all other forms of transport before travelling. With your help we can keep space for those who need it most.

Kettering to London journeys will take around three hours as engineering work affects train services this weekend. Photo: Network Rail

"Face coverings are mandatory when travelling on all forms of public transport in England, this includes on board Rail Replacement buses and Trains.

"Please ensure you have a face covering before travelling."

Southbound trains will terminate at Market Harborough on Saturday and at Corby on Sunday with buses ferrying passengers from Kettering and Wellingborough to Luton for connections with Thameslink services to London.

Passengers returning from London will need to change at Luton to catch buses to Northamptonshire while those heading for Leicester, Nottingham, Derby or Sheffield will also need to travel by road..

Another bus will shuttle between Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.

Thameslink will also be unable to run its trains between Luton and Bedford all weekend and passengers are urged to check journey times via the National Rail Enquiries website or with train operators East Midlands Railway and Thameslink.

Work to electrify the route and allow 12-coach trains to run between Corby to London St Pancras started in 2017 and new services were due to be up and running this year.

But hold-ups over the last three months due to the Covid-19 crisis has forced the new timetable to be put back until May 2021.