Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
EMR have advised that weekday peak-time Bedford calls are to be reinstated on certain trains, from as soon as tomorrow morning (Thursday 26th March). The thinning out of train services has enabled Network Rail to respond swiftly to EMR's request to do this. The relevant trains are:
Though this is an additional stop for our trains to and from London, it will be a big - albeit temporary - improvement for those travelling to and from Bedford.
EMR state that the situation is under constant review and timetables may therefore change week by week. They will publish details on their website:
The Department for Transport has announced that it will temporarily suspend normal rail franchise agreements and transfer all revenue and cost risk to the government for a limited period, initially six months. Under ‘Emergency Measures Agreements’, train operators will continue to run services day-to-day for a small predetermined management fee. For any operator not wishing to do this, the government’s ‘Operator of Last Resort’ stands ready to step in.
Alongside today's announcement, the Government has also confirmed that it will support the refund of Advance rail tickets and time unused on rail season tickets free of administration charges.
Further information is available at:
and the written statement to Parliament by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, is available at:
HRU welcomes measures to ensure that as good a train service as possible is maintained during this unprecedented crisis. We offer our best wishes to all EMR staff engaged in delivering this service for those key workers in the NHS and elsewhere who depend on it.
How long before we are back to normal? A Meridian and an HST call simultaneously at Market Harborough on 3rd September 2019, before any of us had even heard of COVID-19.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop and day-to-day life continues to wind down for the time being, the UK rail industry has announced reductions to train services. EMR has announced that EMR Intercity services will be reduced from start of service on Monday 23rd March to:
This service pattern will be in place until further notice. There will be reductions also to the EMR Regional services. The intention, however, is to ensure all stations and lines of route remain open.
To quote EMR: 'The railway is not exempt from the effects of the virus but also has a critical role to play in supporting the country at this difficult time. This includes helping vital key workers continue to travel as well as responsibly following Government guidance to fight the spread of the virus.'
Further information including actual timetables will be published on the EMR website: https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/reduced-timetable.
In common with other train operators, EMR has issued advice on its response to the COVID-19 'coronavirus' crisis. Though continuing to operate as normal a service as it can for the time being, EMR has withdrawn all on-train catering and has introduced more rigorous cleaning standards for trains and stations. HRU wishes all EMR staff well as they go about their duties in these extraordinary circumstances.
The situation is changing almost daily but at the time of writing, the latest information from EMR is to be found on their website at: https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/covid-19.
The subway and the south end of Platform 2 at Market Harborough opened as planned on Monday 17th February 2020. When the new platforms opened on 3rd June 2019, only the northern half of southbound Platform 2 was complete. The southern end was then built across the land occupied by the old track layout. This also meant that the subway between the two platforms remained closed. It had been intended to open these along with the car park extension on 15th December, but the necessary approvals had not been signed off.
However, they are now open and, for the first time in its history, Market Harborough has full-length platforms on both main line tracks. Gone are the days when people alighting from a southbound train had to walk forward to be sure of being next to a door by the platform.
Some finishing off is still needed. For example, the short projecting canopy at the top of the subway steps awaits its roof glazing; installation of this was prevented by Storm Dennis over the preceding weekend. However, credit is due to the contractors, who continued with the main work despite the storm and ensured that the platform and subway were open for use with the first train on Monday.
Opening day, Monday 17th February 2020. The 10:26 HST to St Pancras comes to a stand at the south end of Platform 2 at Market Harborough, luxuriating in the knowledge that the entire train is accommodated at the full-length platform. Other work is still planned at Market Harborough, including new toilets to replace those in the architecturally challenged 1970s building at the left of the picture.