Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
Like many places, our train service was severely disrupted on Monday 28th October because of damage such as fallen trees caused by the storm. Thankfully, services were restored for Tuesday morning. Though there was great inconvenience to many commuters, we recognise the efforts of the Network Rail engineers and others who worked hard to clear debris and repair the damage as quickly as possible.
Users of the station will be aware of the work under way on the waiting rooms on both platforms and the toilets on northbound platform 1. Part of the work is to provide step-free access from the southbound platform to the waiting room. This is a welcome development as HRU has long been concerned about the accessibility of this platform so let's hope this is a sign of further access improvements to come. Despite the structural limitations of the short southbound platform and the large gap between both platforms and the trains, it is fair to say that East Midlands Train does maintain the station in good condition.
During July and August 2013, Network Rail closed Nottingham station to most trains for a five-week 'blockade' while they completely rebuilt the track layout, added an extra platform and upgraded the signalling. Other work was also done at Nottingham station during this period, including significant progress with modernising the station itself and works associated with the new tram routes that will cross the station on an impressive new bridge. A major programme of train diversions and bus replacements was put in place for the duration, with East Midlands Trains reducing fares as compensation for the resulting inconvenience to the affected journeys.
Though not particularly local to Market Harborough, this work is important to our train service as most of Market Harborough's trains start from or are going to Nottingham. The old track and signalling there was limited in capacity and becoming increasingly unreliable. While this work was being planned, HRU therefore added its voice to representations that the scheme should provide for increased capacity and operational flexibility, rather than mere like-for-like replacement of old kit with new. We are therefore pleased that the work has done this and we look forward to the improved reliability for our trains.