Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
EMR and Network Rail have notified stakeholders including Harborough Rail Users that the major timetable change planned for December 2020, when the Corby electrification was due to open, has been deferred until May 2021. This comes as no surprise; it is a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected:
EMR also advise that there are 'challenges for the successful introduction of an improved EMR Regional timetable in December 2021. Work is ongoing to understand the knock-on implications for these long anticipated changes'.
There was a major consultation earlier in 2020 on the December 2020 timetable plans and HRU submitted a detailed response. See https://www.harborough-rail.org.uk/home/harborough-rail-users-respond-to-december-2020-timetable-consultation for more.
Send me a wire. Construction teams work on the platform extensions at Wellingborough on 11th March 2020 under the new overhead electrification, in preparation for electric services between London and Corby. These were due to start in December 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic has pushed this back to May 2021, with implications for the timetable changes planned for the whole Midland Main Line. (Picture: Steve Jones)
EMR have issued further updated travel advice as the lock-down is eased to allow non-essential shops to reopen from tomorrow, Monday 15th June. In summary:
Face coverings are mandatory - as they are for all public transport in England.
EMR advise that new station posters have been distributed and all EMR staff members have been issued with face coverings. They state that 'Wearing face coverings on trains will help to ensure that those who need to use public transport can do so with confidence. Use of face coverings will boost the other measures we have put in place to keep people safe, like more thorough cleaning, improved information on potential crowding and one-way systems at busier stations. We expect customers to wear face coverings as they enter our stations and on our trains. We will work closely with the British Transport Police to maintain a safe environment for our staff and customers.'
Social Distancing – EMR have produced a social distancing video 'to help guide our passengers on effective social distancing behaviours as they navigate through our stations and board our trains': https://youtu.be/N0wvLYHySZ0
More detail is on the EMR website: https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/
After a pause resulting partly from Covid-19 interruptions, work has restarted on the cycle hub in the forecourt at Market Harborough station. Concrete has been poured for the substantial base for the new structure. Steelwork for the building, which will feature glazed walls, is awaited but is expected soon.
The picture below shows the enormous concrete pouring machine doing its thing in the station forecourt on Tuesday 9th June 2020. (Picture: Steve Jones)
East Midlands Railway (EMR) have issued as update on social distancing and other precautions as the lock-down is slightly eased and passenger numbers may rise as a result. Some Government restrictions were eased on 1st June, and non-essential retail shops can re-open on 15th June, so activity is taking place across the rail network to ensure proper precautions are taken. EMR advise that all their 91 stations plus their train fleet display social distancing guidance, and staff have been briefed. Non-essential travel continues to be discouraged, however. Further information can be found on EMR’s website at https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/covid-19.
Our timetable at Market Harborough is back to near-normal levels and can be viewed here.
With the blessing of the site contractors, Amey, members of the Northampton & Lamport Railway recovered two trailer-loads of old wooden sleepers plus the last yard-lamp from Market Harborough's former sidings. The sidings were the last remnant of the goods yard, and had latterly been used for stabling of track engineering machines. That facility has now been relocated to Knighton Junction, on the southern approach to Leicester. The sidings were also occasionally used for other rolling stock and the picture below shows one of their last occupants, a brand-new Class 710 Bombardier Aventra electric train being delivered to London Overground.
The sleepers were taken to Boughton on the Northampton & Lamport heritage railway, which is restoring a section of the old Market Harborough to Northampton line, closed in 1981. They will be used for point-work at the new station being built at Boughton.
Further information about the Northampton & Lamport Railway can be found at https://www.nlr.org.uk/.