Work to start on second rail line to Corby

Corby train station has seen an 87 per cent increase in passenger numbers since it opened in 2009
Corby train station has seen an 87 per cent increase in passenger numbers since it opened in 2009

A rail passenger group says it expects work on a new line between Corby and Kettering to start this summer.

David Fursdon, a member of passenger group Railfuture East Midlands, said he understood the work would begin later this year as preparations are made to electrify the Midland Mainline.

That electrification, which is due to be completed towards the end of the decade, would see some northbound services run via Corby, which would require a second line to deal with the added pressures.

Mr Fursdon said: “We are expecting work on a second line to start in the summer.

“It will increase capacity. It will also reduce the bottleneck between Kettering and Corby.

“It’s a big plus – it will give scope to enhance the services to Corby.

“We have got a good feeling it will be this summer.”

He also said the building of a second platform at Corby may not be far off.

A Network Rail spokesman confirmed: “We are completing work in order to reinstate the second track between Kettering and Corby which was removed in 1986.

“These plans are still under development.

“Once we have suitable detail we will carry out a programme of engagement with local residents and stakeholders to inform them of our plans.

“This is likely to be in late summer or early autumn this year.”

Christopher Groome, from the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Rail Action Committee, said the second line would give a lot more flexibility for a second line.

“Things are on the move,” he said. “The problem they have got at the moment is because the second rail was taken out, there’s only a single track, and passenger and freight conflicts.

“(It means) Corby people are expected to wait an hour for a train to Leicester, which is ridiculous, so I am really pleased about this news.”

The installation of a second line would follow a period of growth for Corby station since its reopening in April 2009.

Railfuture sucessfully campaigned for the addition of the 10.16am service to London St Pancras, which has filled a two-hour gap in the timetable since its introduction in December last year.

The number of passengers using Corby station has also increased significantly since it opened in 2009. In 2009-10, there were about 115,400 passengers who used the station, a figure which increased to almost 215,400 by 2011-12.

That rise of 87 per cent compares to declines in the number of passengers using both Kettering and Wellingborough stations.