Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
In the new timetable starting on 12th December 2021, the last three Intercity trains from St Pancras on weekdays (23:05, 23:35 and 00:15 from St Pancras) are diverted via Corby, with bus connections from Kettering for Market Harborough. This is to allow for overnight engineering work in connection with electrifying the line from Kettering. As this arrangement is in place for the whole of the present timetable and beyond, we in Harborough Rail Users queried this with EMR. They have confirmed that it is planned to continue at least until December 2023. In the circumstances, it is understandable, and we hope the lengthy duration reflects the anticipated continuation of electrification beyond Market Harborough, as promised in the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan.
On the buses. Rail replacement buses wait at Market Harborough for services to Kettering and Leicester on 18th December 2021 during a weekend line closure for engineering work. Late night trains at Market Harborough during the week are diverted via Corby, with bus connections from Kettering, until the end of next year at least.
Photo: Steve Jones
Every year, excellence and achievements in the rail industry are celebrated in the National Rail Awards, the ‘Railway Oscars’. There are numerous categories reflecting achievements in railway operations, customer service, business innovation and many others. One of these is Infrastructure Achievement of the Year and the 2020 winner was contractor Amey Rail for the Market Harborough Line Speed and Station Improvement project. This is a major accolade and we congratulate the teams involved in transforming our station at track and platform level plus the new car park.
Network Rail have released a time-lapse video of the 2019 line upgrade work at Market Harborough, showing the main stages of the project from installation of the footbridge back in February 2019 to the first train on 3rd June. It can be seen at https://vimeo.com/insideoutgrp/mmluprademarketharboroughjune2019.
The temporary speed restrictions through the station have now been removed, allowing trains not stopping to pass through at speed.
Though the new platforms have been open since 3rd June 2019, southbound platform 2 is not yet complete. Work continues on the southern end of the platform, to make it full-length and link to the steps down to the subway and booking office. The picture shows progress with this on 24th June. The temporary speed restriction for trains not stopping has now been lifted, allowing southbound trains to pass at 85mph. Northbound, however, the 50mph temporary speed restriction remains in place for now.
The driver stands next to locomotive 43081 at the head of the 06:54 from Market Harborough to St Pancras on reopening day. Network Rail and contractors' staff gather on Platform 1, opposite, to greet the first northbound train, the 06:58 to Sheffield.
Market Harborough station reopened on Monday 3rd June 2019, after a six-day closure, during which the new track alignment was completed. Though there were no official ceremonies, there was much local interest, plus pride on the part of Network Rail, their contractors and East Midlands Trains that the project had been completed on time and to a very high standard. The long-awaited footbridge with lifts is now in use. Though platform 1, northbound, is complete, some work remains on platform 2 (southbound) to bring its full length into use. Until then, platform 2 is only five carriages long. Work will continue on this, and the extension of the car park to give an extra 200 spaces. Though there are additional features that HRU would wish to see provided, there is no doubt that the new station is a massive improvement on the previous one.
Yep, that looks all right. Platform staff check the clearance between train and platform for the first northbound departure from Market Harborough's new platform 1, the 06:58 to Sheffield on Monday 3rd June 2019.