Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
A significant milestone in the rebuilding of the station was reached during the early hours of Sunday 24th February, with the installation of the main steelwork for the new footbridge. This, funded under the national Access for All programme, will be equipped with lifts as well as steps, to enable easy transfer between the two new platforms. It provides a very visible landmark in what is a currently major construction site. Also on 24th February, temporary portable toilets were installed in the station forecourt. These replace the existing toilets in the building on Platform 1 while the building work continues. The station is due to be closed for six days, from Tuesday 28th May to Sunday 2nd June inclusive, to allow the new track alignment and platforms to be connected up and brought into use on Monday 3rd June.
Though the next franchise is not due to start until 19th August 2019, the previous East Midlands Trains (EMT) contract was due to expire on 2nd March! Accordingly, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Stagecoach Group have agreed a direct award extension for EMT to cover the interim period. The next franchise operator is due to be announced by the DfT in April. However, if there is any delay, the direct award has an option in it for further extension for up to six 'reporting periods' of four weeks each, i.e. 24 weeks, to February 2020. The direct award includes: