Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
The reorganisation of local government in Northamptonshire means that the County and all the District Councils will be replaced by two new unitary councils from 1st April 2021: West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire. In preparation for this, there has been consultation on the West Northamptonshire Strategic Plan, looking at planning and infrastructure for the area. It includes a proposal to reopen the line between Market Harborough and Northampton as part of ‘North–South Rail’. As well as providing a useful local connection, it would be part of a valuable inter-regional route linking Nottingham, Derby and Leicester with Northampton, Milton Keynes and, potentially, Heathrow Airport via the planned Crossrail and HS2 interchange at Old Oak Common in west London. It would also complement 'East-West Rail', which is planned to reinstate the rail link between Oxford, Bedford and Cambridge.
As the section of the line within Market Harborough has been lost to redevelopment, a short new section would need to be built around the outskirts of the town. Provision would also need to be made to replace the popular Brampton Valley Way footpath and cycle track along the route. Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, has stated that he is 'very supportive' of the idea. Harborough Rail Users will consider the proposal at its forthcoming AGM on 11th November. However, in response to requests for interviews by local press and radio, HRU Chair Steve Jones gave his personal support for a line that would fill a major gap in the region's rail services. Though the consultation is now closed, further information can be found at:
The commemorative last train stands at the platform at Market Harborough before departing for the final run back to Northampton, stopping at the sites of some of the intermediate stations, 15th August 1981.