Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
The announcement today by the Secretary of State for Transport that the project to electrify the Midland Main Line can be restarted came as a surprise. It will be done in two stages; Bedford to Kettering and Corby by 2019 and Kettering to Leicester, Nottingham. Derby and on to Sheffield by 2023. Though later than the original intended timetable, this is still welcome news. Further information can be found on the DfT website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/transpennine-and-midland-mainline-electrification-works-to-resume
We await further details, especially regarding the straightening of the line through Market Harborough plus the long overdue rebuilding of the station platforms. The delay at least gives the opportunity for the tracks on the ground to be sorted out before we see wires in the air!
The Department for Transport has announced that East Midlands Trains will continue to operate our train services under a direct award franchise. This runs until March 2018 with potential for a further extension of one year. There would then be a full franchise competition. Various improvements have been pledged by EMT as part of the deal; more details can be found on their website at http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/information/media/news/New-13-Million-Package-Of-Benefits-For-East-Midlands-Trains-Customers/.
For Market Harborough, we anticipate that at least the existing pattern of service will remain in place. We have long called for free WiFi in standard class and this is promised, though only for the first 15 minutes' use. The deal also pledges a total of £1m across the company for station accessibility improvements and we hope this brings the long-awaited and desperately needed improvements at Market Harborough station a bit closer.