Midland Main Line
The Midland Main Line is a major railway in England from London's St. Pancras station to Sheffield, via Luton and Bedford in the East of England, and Kettering, Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Derby/Nottingham and Chesterfield in the East Midlands.
In January 2009 a new station, East Midlands Parkway, was opened between Loughborough and Trent Junction, as a park-and-ride station for suburban residents of East Midlands cities and to serve nearby East Midlands Airport.
Express passenger services on the line are operated by East Midlands Trains. The section between St Pancras and Bedford is electrified and forms the northern half of Thameslink (mainly operated by Thameslink and Great Northern), with a fast service to Brighton and other suburban services.
A northern part of the route, between Derby and Sheffield, also forms part of the Cross Country Route to Bristol and, in summer, to South West tourist resorts, operated by CrossCountry. Tracks from Nottingham to Leeds via Barnsley and Sheffield are shared with Northern. TransPennine Express operate through Sheffield. East Midlands Local also operates regional and local services using parts of the line.
Historically the line had an extension through Leeds in the near North East to Carlisle, and by agreement with other line developers ran to Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland. The East and West Coast Main Lines' faster and more direct services to Scotland caused these services to be lost. Later, overhead electrification of the West Coast Main Line and the Beeching cuts brought an end to the marginally longer London-Manchester service via Sheffield. A straight railway from Derby to Manchester was thwarted in 1863 by the builders of the Buxton Line who sought to monopolise on[clarification needed] the West Coast Main Line. The line retains connections to the Peak District via the Hope Valley Line.
- 1 History
- 2 Corollary lines
- 3 Accidents
- 4 Operators
- 5 Route definition and description
- 6 Former stations
- 7 Upgrade works in the 2010s
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes and references
- 10 External links
First to arrive was the line built by the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway from Hampton-in-Arden, Warwickshire[n 1] to Derby, which opened on 12 August 1839. This route presents the Cross-Country Route through Birmingham to Bristol.
Derby was supplemented on 1 July 1840 by the North Midland Railway to Leeds Hunslet Lane via Chesterfield, Rotherham Masborough[n 2], Swinton and Normanton. This avoided Sheffield, Barnsley, and Wakefield to reduce gradients.
On the same day the Midland Counties Railway, which also already ran from Nottingham to Leicester, was extended to a temporary station on the northern outskirts of Rugby, Warwickshire. A few months later, the Rugby viaduct was finished so as to reach the London and Birmingham Railway's Rugby station. This cut 11 miles (18 km) off the existing Birmingham route via Hampton-in-Arden.
When these three companies merged to form the Midland Railway on 10 May 1844, the Midland did not have its own route to London, and relied upon a junction at Rugby with the London and Birmingham's line (which became part of the London and North Western Railway on 1 January 1846) to London Euston for access to the capital.
Own Southern Section
By the 1850s the junction at Rugby had become severely congested so the Midland Railway constructed a direct route from Leicester to Hitchin via Bedford. giving access to London via the Great Northern Railway from Hitchin. The line avoids Northampton, instead going via Kettering and Wellingborough in the east of Northamptonshire. This line met with similar problems at Hitchin as the former alignment had at Rugby, so in 1868 a line was opened from Bedford via Luton to St Pancras, which became known as the Bedpan line and is now part of Thameslink extending to Brighton.
The final stretch of what is considered to be the modern Midland Main Line was a relatively short Sheffield by-pass which was opened in 1870.
The mid-1870s saw the Midland line extended northwards through the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley on what is now solely called the Settle-Carlisle Railway, considered an independent route and not part of the present-day Midland Main Line, although included in its diagram shown to the top right.
Before the line closures of the Beeching era, the lines to Buxton and via Millers Dale during most years presented an alternate (and competing) main line from London to Manchester, carrying named expresses such as The Palatine. Express trains to Leeds and Scotland such as the Thames-Clyde Express mainly used the Midland's corollary Erewash Valley Line, returned to it then used the Settle and Carlisle Line. Expresses to Edinburgh Waverley, such as The Waverley travelled through Corby and Nottingham.
Partly to appease the concerns and opposition of landowners along the route, in places some of it was built to avoid large estates and rural towns, and to reduce construction costs the railways followed natural contours, resulting in many curves and bends. This has also resulted in the MML passing through some relatively hilly areas, such as Sharnbrook (where there is a 1 in 119 gradient from the south taking the line to 340 feet (100 m) above sea level). This has left a legacy of lower maximum speeds on the line compared with other main lines. The response to a similar situation on the West Coast Main Line has been the adoption of tilting trains, but there has been no proposal for such a solution on the Midland line.
Most Leicester-Nottingham local passenger trains were taken over by diesel units from 14 April 1958, taking about 51 minutes between the two cities.
In 1977 the Parliamentary Select Committee on Nationalised Industries recommended considering electrification of more of Britain's rail network, and by 1979 BR presented a range of options that included electrifying the Midland Main Line from London to Yorkshire by 2000. By 1983 the line had been electrified from Moorgate to Bedford, but proposals to continue electrification to Nottingham and Sheffield were not implemented.
The introduction of the High Speed Train (HST) in May 1983 following the Leicester area resignalling brought about an increase of the ruling line speed on the fast lines from 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) to 110 miles per hour (180 km/h).
Between 2001 and 2003 the line between Derby and Sheffield was upgraded from 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) to 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) as part of Operation Princess, the Virgin-funded CrossCountry route upgrade.
In January 2009 a new station, East Midlands Parkway, was opened between Loughborough and Trent Junction, to act as a park-and-ride station for suburban travellers from East Midlands cities and to serve nearby East Midlands Airport.
Most recently 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) running has been introduced on extended stretches. Improved signalling, increased number of tracks and the revival of proposals to extend electrification from Bedford to Sheffield are underway. Much of this £70 million upgrade, including some line-speed increases, came online on 9 December 2013 (see below).
- Erewash Valley Line
- Leicester to Burton upon Trent Line
- Oakham to Kettering Line
- Sections of the Nottingham to Lincoln Line between Nottingham and Newark
- Sections of the Birmingham to Peterborough Line between Nuneaton and Oakham, Rutland.
- 26 September 1860 Bull bridge accident; bridge collapse
- 2 September 1861 Kentish Town rail accident; collision
- 24 December 1910 Hawes Junction rail crash; signalman forgot about train
- 2 September 1913 Ais Gill rail accident; collision
- 3 December 1923 Nunnery Colliery
- 13 December 1926 Orgreave Paddy Mail accident
- 22 March 2005 Market Harborough rail accident
- 1 February 2008 Barrow upon Soar rail accident
East Midlands Trains
The principal operator is East Midlands Trains, which replaced Midland Mainline on 11 November 2007. East Midlands Trains operates 5 InterCity trains every hour on the MML from London St Pancras with two trains per hour to Nottingham and Sheffield and one train per hour to Corby. There are also limited services to Scarborough/York, Leeds, Melton Mowbray and Lincoln and additional services to Derby. The former operator, Midland Mainline also ran limited services to Matlock, Burton-on-Trent and Barnsley. EMT use Class 222 Meridian trains in various carriage formations for most of its InterCity services. Traditional 8 carriage HSTs are used for its Nottingham fast service as well morning/evening Leeds services. Many regular passengers on this route prefer the ride quality of the HST as they do not have any under-floor engines which cause the vibrations in the passenger coaches of the Class 222. HST rolling stock is longer, wider and generally brighter than the Class 222.
East Midlands Trains run a summer Skegness service from time to time.
Additionally, East Midlands Trains runs rural services between Leicester and Nottingham to Lincoln and Nottingham and Ambergate to Matlock, while also running Regional Express services between Nottingham and Sheffield as part of its Norwich to Liverpool route.
Thameslink provides frequent, 24-hour commuter services south of Bedford under the name of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) as part of its Thameslink route to London Bridge, Gatwick Airport, Brighton and Sutton, using 4-car electric Class 319, Class 377 Electrostar and Class 387 Electrostar trains which can be coupled into 8- and 12-car formations.
CrossCountry and Northern Rail
CrossCountry runs half-hourly services between Derby and Sheffield. Trains carry on to Birmingham, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Doncaster/Leeds and Scotland. They also provide hourly services between Nottingham and Derby to Birmingham and Cardiff. Northern Rail runs an hourly service to Leeds from Nottingham via Alferton and Barnsley.
Other operators include:
Route definition and description
The cities, towns and villages currently served by the MML are listed below. Stations in bold have a high usage. This table includes the historical extensions to Manchester (where it linked to the West Coast Main Line) and Carlisle (via Leeds where it meets with the 'modern' East Coast Main Line).
Network Rail groups all lines in the East Midlands and the route north as far as Chesterfield and south to London as route 19. The actual line extends beyond this into routes 10 and 11.
London to Nottingham and Sheffield (Network Rail Route 19)
|Station||Village/town/city and county||Ordnance Survey
|Year opened||Step free access||No. of platforms||Usage 2012/13
|Branches and loops|
|London St Pancras||St Pancras, London||1868||15||24.298||High Speed 1 diverges north of St Pancras|
|Kentish Town||Kentish Town, London||1868||4||1.695||Branch from to Gospel Oak to Barking Line north of station|
|West Hampstead Thameslink||West Hampstead, London||1871||4||2.817|
|Cricklewood||Cricklewood, London||1868||4||1.080||Dudding Hill Line diverges north of Cricklewood|
|Hendon||Hendon, London||1868||4||0.983||Dudding Hill Line diverges south of Hendon|
|Mill Hill Broadway||Mill Hill, London||grid reference||1868||4||2.040|
|Elstree & Borehamwood||Borehamwood, Hertfordshire||1868||4||3.234|
|Radlett||Radlett, Hertfordshire||grid reference||1868||4||1.110|
|St Albans City||St Albans, Hertfordshire||grid reference||1868||4||6.888|
|Harpenden||Harpenden, Hertfordshire||grid reference||1868||4||2.095|
|Luton Airport Parkway||Luton, Bedfordshire||grid reference||1999||4||2.508|
|Luton||Luton, Bedfordshire||grid reference||1868||5||3.444|
|Leagrave||Leagrave, Luton, Bedfordshire||grid reference||1868||4||1.757|
|Harlington||Harlington, Bedfordshire||grid reference||1868||4||0.320|
|Flitwick||Flitwick, Bedforshire||grid reference||1870||4||1.319|
|Bedford Midland||Bedford, Bedfordshire||grid reference||1859||5||3.303||Marston Vale Line diverges south of Bedford|
|Wellingborough||Wellingborough, Northamptonshire||grid reference||1857||3||0.929|
|Kettering||Kettering, Northamptonshire||grid reference||1857||4||1.019||Oakham to Kettering Line diverges north of Kettering at Glendon Jun|
|via Corby & diversion route|
|Corby||Corby, Northamptonshire||grid reference||2009||1||0.233||Oakham to Kettering Line|
|Oakham||Oakham, Rutland||grid reference||1848||2||0.204||Birmingham to Peterborough Line|
|Melton Mowbray||Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire||grid reference||1848||2||0.233|
|Main Line via Market Harborough|
|Market Harborough||Market Harborough, Leicestershire||grid reference||1850||2||0.764|
|Leicester||Leicester, Leicestershire||grid reference||1840||4||4.797||Birmingham to Peterborough Line diverges south of Leicester at Wigston Junction|
|Syston||Syston, Leicestershire||grid reference||1994||1||0.016||Birmingham to Peterborough Line diverges north of Syston|
|Sileby||Sileby, Leicestershire||grid reference||1994||2||0.099|
|Barrow-upon-Soar||Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire||grid reference||1994||2||0.079|
|Loughborough||Loughborough, Leicestershire||grid reference||1872||3||1.246|
|East Midlands Parkway||Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire (for East Midlands Airport)||grid reference||2007||4||0.284||Trent Junction to Clay Cross Junction via Derby (the original line), the Nottingham branch, and the Erewash Valley Line each diverge north of East Midlands Parkway|
|Long Eaton||Long Eaton, Derbyshire||grid reference||1888||2||0.585||Cord south of Long Eaton to the Nottingham branch|
|Spondon||Spondon, Derby, Derbyshire||grid reference||1839||2||0.020|
|Derby Midland||Derby, Derbyshire||grid reference||1839||6||3.366||Cross Country Route and Crewe to Derby Line diverges south of Derby|
|Duffield||Duffield, Derbyshire||grid reference||1841||3||0.055|
|Belper||Belper, Derbyshire||grid reference||1840||2||0.177|
|Ambergate||Ambergate, Derbyshire||grid reference||1840||1||0.038||Derwent Valley Line diverges at Ambergate Junction|
|Attenborough||Attenborough, Nottinghamshire||grid reference||1856||2||0.089|
|Beeston||Beeston, Nottinghamshire||grid reference||1839||2||0.546|
|Nottingham Midland||Nottingham, Nottinghamshire||grid reference||1904||6||6.451||Northbound trains for the north reverse towards Langley Mill. Other continue onto
the Robin Hood Line, Nottingham to Grantham or Lincoln Lines
|Via Erewash Valley (bypassing or calling at Nottingham)|
|Langley Mill||Langley Mill, Derbyshire||grid reference||1847||2||0.095||Erewash Valley and Trent Nottingham Lines rejoin together south of Langley Mill.|
|Alfreton||Alfreton, Derbyshire||grid reference||1862||2||0.225|
|Clay Cross Junction to Leeds|
|Chesterfield||Chesterfield, Derbyshire||grid reference||1840||3||1.499||Trent Junction to Clay Cross via Derby and Erewash Valley Lines rejoin together south of Chesterfield.|
|Dronfield||Dronfield, Derbyshire||grid reference||1981||2||0.160||Hope Valley Line diverges north of Dronfield|
|Sheffield Midland||Sheffield, South Yorkshire||grid reference||1870||9||8.615||Hope Valley Line diverges south of Sheffield
Sheffield to Lincoln Line diverges north of Sheffield
|Meadowhall Interchange||Sheffield, South Yorkshire||grid reference||1990||4 NR||2.125||Hallam and Penistone Lines diverges at Meadowhall|
|Doncaster||Doncaster, South Yorkshire||grid reference||1838||8||3.835||Connects to the East Coast Main Line south of Doncaster|
|Wakefield Westgate||Wakefield, West Yorkshire||grid reference||1867||2||2.267||Connects with the East Coast Main Line south of Wakefield Westgate|
|Leeds City||Leeds, West Yorkshire||grid reference||1938||17||26.201||Leeds City Lines|
|Camden Road Tunnel||St Pancras and Kentish Town|
|Hampstead Tunnel||Kentish Town and West Hampstead|
|Lismore Circus Tunnel||Kentish Town and West Hampstead|
|Belsize Tunnel||Kentish Town and West Hampstead|
|Elstree Tunnel||Mill Hill Broadway and Elstree & Borehamwood|
|Ampthill Tunnel||Flitwick and Bedford|
|Sharnbrook Tunnel (Freight Line only)||Bedford and Wellingborough|
|Knighton Tunnel||Market Harborough and Leicester|
|Red Hill Tunnel||East Midlands Parkway and Long Eaton / Trent Junction|
|Milford Tunnel||Duffield and Belper|
|Toadmoor Tunnel||Belper and Chesterfield|
|Wingfield Tunnel||Belper and Chesterfield|
|Alfreton Tunnel||Langley Mill and Alfreton|
|Clay Cross Tunnel||Belper and Clay Cross|
|Broomhouse Tunnel (Opened out to cutting 1969)||Sheepbridge and Unstone|
|Bradway Tunnel||Dronfield and Dore|
Ambergate Junction to Manchester
For marketing and franchising, this is no longer considered part of the Midland Main Line: see Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway
The line was once the Midland Railway's route from London St Pancras to Manchester, branching at Ambergate Junction along the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway, now known as the Derwent Valley Line. In days gone by, it featured named expresses such as The Palatine. Much later in the twentieth century, it carried the Midland Pullman.
|Matlock Bath||Matlock Bath|
|Closed Section Stations|
|Darley Dale||Darley Dale|
|Great Longstone||Great Longstone for Ashford|
|Monsal Dale||Monsal Dale|
|Millers Dale||Millers Dale|
|Blackwell Mill||Blackwell Mill|
|Peak Forest||Peak Forest|
|Now part of the Hope Valley Line or other lines|
|Bugsworth||Buxworth (Now Closed)|
|New Mills||New Mills Central|
|Belle Vue/Gorton||Belle Vue|
|Stockport||Stockport Tiviot Dale|
|Manchester||Manchester Central (Now Closed)|
This line was closed in the 1960s between Matlock and Buxton, severing an important link between Manchester and the East Midlands, which has never been satisfactorily replaced by any mode of transport. A section of the route remains in the hands of the Peak Rail preservation group, operating between Matlock and Rowsley to the north.
Leeds to Carlisle
For marketing and franchising, this is no longer considered part of the Midland Main Line: see Settle-Carlisle Railway.
World War I prevented the Midland Railway from finishing its direct route through the West Riding to join the Settle and Carlisle (which would have cut six miles from the journey and avoided the need for reversal at Leeds).
The first part of the Midland's West Riding extension from the main line at Royston (Yorks.) to Dewsbury was opened before the war. However, the second part of the extension was not completed. This involved a viaduct at Dewsbury over the River Calder, a tunnel under Dewsbury Moor and a new approach railway into Bradford from the south at a lower level than the existing railway (a good part of which was to be in tunnel) leading into Bradford Midland (or Bradford Forster Square) station.
The 500 yards (460 m) gap between the stations at Bradford still exists. Closing it today would also need to take into account the different levels between the two Bradford stations, a task made easier in the days of electric rather than steam traction, allowing for steeper gradients than possible at the time of the Midland's proposed extension.
Two impressive viaducts remain on the completed part of the line between Royston Junction and Dewsbury as a testament to the Midland's ambition to complete a third direct Anglo-Scottish route. The line served two goods stations and provided a route for occasional express passenger trains before its eventual closure in 1968.
The failure to complete this section ended the Midland's hopes of being a serious competitor on routes to Scotland and finally put beyond all doubt that Leeds, not Bradford, would be the West Riding's principal city. Midland trains to Scotland therefore continued to call at Leeds before travelling along the Aire Valley to the Settle and Carlisle. From Carlisle they then travelled onwards via either the Glasgow and South Western or Waverley route. In days gone by the line enjoyed named expresses such as the Thames-Clyde Express and The Waverley.
- Leeds along the Airedale Line
- Here is Apperley Junction for the Wharfedale Line
- Shipley: here is the triangular junction for the branch line serving Bradford Forster Square
- Steeton & Silsden
- Here is Settle Junction for the line to Morecambe
- Lancaster Green Ayre
- Here is Settle Junction for the line to Morecambe
- Kirkby Stephen
As with most railway lines in Britain, the route used to serve far more stations than it currently does (and consequently passes close to settlements that it no longer serves). Places that the current main line used to serve include
- London to Leicester
- Camden Road
- Haverstock Hill
- Finchley Road
- Welsh Harp
- Chiltern Green
- Isham and Burton Latimer
- East Langton
- Great Glen
- Wigston Magna
- Leicester to Trent Junction
- Leicester Humberstone Road
- Cossington Gate
- Derwent Valley
- Breaston (later Sawley - see Long Eaton)
- Derby Nottingham Road
- Clay Cross
- Erewash Valley
- Long Eaton (Original Midland Counties Railway station not the present one)
- Stapleford and Sandiacre
- Stanton Gate
- Ilkeston Junction and Cossall
- Shipley Gate
- Codnor Park and Ironville
- Pye Bridge
- Westhouses and Blackwell
- Doe Hill
- Chesterfield to Leeds
- Eckington and Renishaw
- Killamarsh West
- Woodhouse Mill
- Attercliffe Road
- Rotherham Masborough
- Parkgate and Rawmarsh
- Swinton West (reopened Swinton)
The following on the original North Midland Railway line
- Wath North
- Royston and Notton
- Oakenshaw (originally for Wakefield)
- Methley North
Upgrade works in the 2010s
Network Rail's plans
The Midland Main line has for many years been thought of as a 'Cinderella' line but, with the increasing capacity constraints on other lines, the route looks set to benefit from investment and enhancement. Plans for the line include:
- Re-signalling of the entire route, expected to be complete by 2016 when all signalling will be controlled by the East Midlands signalling centre in Derby.
- Rebuilding Bedford, Leicester and Nottingham stations, which would also involve an enhanced approach layout during re-signalling works.
- Accessibility enhancements at Elstree & Borehamwood, Harpenden, Loughborough, Long Eaton, Luton and Wellingborough by 2015.
- Upgraded approach signalling (flashing yellow aspects) added at key junctions - Radlett, Harpenden and Leagrave allowing trains to traverse them at higher speeds.
- Lengthening of platforms at Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Loughborough, Long Eaton and Beeston stations as well as work related to the Thameslink Programme (see below).
- Realignment of the track and construction of new platforms to increase the permissible speed through Market Harborough station from 60 mph to 85 mph saving between 30 – 60 seconds.
- Electrification (below)
- Speeds of up to 125 mph between Elstree & Borehamwood and Ratcliffe Junction on the fast lines (December 2013 onwards) at a cost of £69.4m leading to an 8-minute reduction in the express London - Sheffield journey time and a 6-minute reduction for London - Nottingham journey times (London St Pancras - Sheffield LSI) on services operated by Class 222 DMUs.
- Re-doubling the Kettering to Oakham Line between Kettering North Junction and Corby as well as re-signalling to Syston Junction via Oakham. This will allow a half hourly London to Corby passenger service (from an infrastructure perspective) from December 2017 possibly using Class 387s, and will create additional paths for rail freight.
On 16 July 2012, the Department for Transport announced plans to reconfigure the existing electrified section and to electrify most of the line by 2020 at an expected cost of £800 million. The national rail infrastructure manager, Network Rail, in January 2013 expected the electrification to cost £500 million and be undertaken in stages during Control Period 5 (April 2014 - March 2019), with Bedford to Corby section electrified by 2017, Kettering to Derby and Nottingham by 2019 and Derby to Sheffield by 2020. Those plan did not include electrification of Nottingham to Clay Cross via Alfreton, nor Corby to Syston via Oakham.
The initial plans were set back when, despite significant electrification enabling work (e.g., new, bigger bridges) having already been completed, in June 2015 the Secretary of State for Transport (Patrick McLoughlin) suspended the work. In September 2015, the Department for Transport the announced its resumption with revised completion dates of 2019 for Corby and Kettering and 2023 for the line further north to Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Electrification could allow some Class 390 services to transfer to the MML from the West Coast Main Line and some InterCity 225 from the East Coast Main Line. For example: running services from St Pancras to Sheffield via Market Harborough and Derby, Derby via Market Harborough, Nottingham via Market Harborough, Kettering and Leicester could provide quicker journeys on the Midland Main Line and extra space for new direct services and other types of rolling stock on the West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line as well as some remaining Pendolino and InterCity 225 services. Services to Corby could also be run using Class 387s. However, services from St Pancras to Leeds, York, Scarborough, Melton Mowbray, Sheffield via Nottingham and Alfreton and Derby via Melton Mowbray, would still have to utilise diesel Class 222 Meridian or Class 43/HST, because these routes are not planned to be electrified.
The electrification is part of the wider Electric Spine project to create an electrified route from the Port of Southampton to Sheffield and possibly Doncaster. The project will mean electrifying the Varsity Line (Bedford - Oxford), the Cherwell Valley/Great Western Main Lines (Oxford/Aynho Junction - Reading) and the Reading to Basingstoke Line. The South Western Main Line between Basingstoke and Southampton will be converted to overhead AC electrification from third rail DC power.
Further possible electrification associated:
- Sheffield to Doncaster. This is seen as a priority by the Department for Transport
- Clay Cross to Trent Junction via Alfreton
- Corby to Manton Junction
- Nuneaton to Felixstowe via Leicester, Peterborough and Ely
- Ambergate to Matlock
Traffic levels on the Midland Main Line are rising faster than the national average, with continued increases predicted. The now-defunct Strategic Rail Authority produced a Route Utilisation Strategy for the Midland Main Line in 2006 to propose ways of meeting this demand; Network Rail started a new study in February 2008 and this was published in February 2010.  After electrification, the North Northamptonshire towns (Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby) are planned to have an additional 'Outer Suburban service' into London St. Pancras, similar to the London Midland's Crewe - London Euston services to cater for the growing commuter market. North Northamptonshire is a major growth area, with over 7,400 new homes planned to be built in Wellingborough and 5,500 new homes planned for Kettering. The service will be operated by new Class 387s.
2010 Route plan
Network Rail's 2010 route plan for the Midland Main Line stressed improving infrastructure to allow more and longer trains to operate in the future as more houses are built in Northamptonshire. Highlights include:
- Work related to line speed increases, removing foot crossings and replacing with footbridges
- Various capacity enhancements for freight
Route Utilisation Strategies
Freight utilisation strategy
Network Rail published a Route Utilisation Strategy for freight in 2007; over the coming years a cross-country freight route will be developed enhancing the Birmingham to Peterborough Line, increasing capacity through Leicester, and remodelling Syston and Wigston junctions.
The Thameslink Programme has seen all stations south of Bedford apart from St Pancras, Kentish Town, Crickelwood, Hendon, Luton Airport Parkway be lengthened to 12 car capabilities. West Hampstead Thameslink has had a new footbridge installed and a new station building constructed. After September 2014, the Thameslink Great Northern franchise, currently operated by Thameslink will be re-franchised. After July 2015 Southern services will be merged with it.
Route Utilisation Strategy
In the East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy, Network Rail recommended the InterCity Express Programme trains, the Class 801 in 10 car formations for the InterCity services. Two 775 metres (848 yd) freight loops south of Bedford and between Kettering and Leicester for longer and heavier freight services, additional infrastructure to accommodate additional freight and passenger train paths and also recommended an additional stop at Kettering for the semi-fast London-Sheffield service.
In 2013/14 Nottingham station was refurbished at a cost of £50 million, creating a better interchange with trams and taxis. A new platform canopy has been installed on platform 6, and the station frontage is being cleaned. A multi-storey car park has already been constructed. In summer 2013, the Nottingham station area had a month-long blockade. A new platform was constructed, 143 new signals were installed, track was replaced, junctions were simplified for higher speeds, four signal boxes were replaced by Derby signalling centre, two level crossings were renewed and two were replaced with footbridges
As part of Wellingborough's Stanton Cross development, Wellingborough station is to be expanded, with an extra station building on a re-opened platform 4 as well as a 6 storey and a 3 storey car park.
There are also new stations planned or proposed on the Midland Main Line.
Three stations are planned:
- Brent Cross Thameslink between Cricklewood and Hendon as part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood development in North London.
- Wixams between Flitwick and Bedford as part of the new town just outside Bedford. Expected to be built by 2015.
- Ilkeston between Nottingham and Langley Mill.
- Clay Cross between Chesterfield and Ambergate/Alferton.
- Irchester (Rushden Parkway) between Wellingborough and Bedford.
- Ampthill between Bedford and Flitwick.
- Great Central Main Line - Former competing main line
Notes and references
- "East Midlands RUS Loading Gauge" (PDF). Network Rail. p. 55. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- "A Midland Railway chronology>Incorporation and expansion". The Midland Railway Society. 1998.[dead link]
- "A Midland Railway chronology>London extension". The Midland Railway Society. 1998.
- Railway Magazine June 1958. p. 432.
- Railway Electrification. British Railways Board (Central Publicity Unit). Winter 1979. pp. 0–2, 8.
- "East Midlands Parkway - Our greenest station to open on 26 January" (Press release). East Midlands Trains. 14 January 2009.
- "Route 19 Midland Main Line and East Midlands" (pdf).
- First Capital Connect: Thameslink Route Timetable B Retrieved 24 August 2013
- "Secretary of State opens Network Rail control centre" (Press release). Network Rail. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
- "Plans for £150m station facelift". BBC News Online (London). 6 March 2008.
- Department for Transport (26 July 2011). "Access for all – stations". GOV.UK. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- "CP4 Delivery Plan 2010, Enhancements programme: statement of scope, outputs, and milestones." (PDF). Network Rail. September 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Rail Magazine Issue 742, 19 February – 4 March, Pages 69-75
- "Second Corby to Kettering railway track to be restored". BBC News Online (London). 6 February 2014.
- "Investing in rail, investing in jobs and growth" (Press release). Department for Transport. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- "Network Rail to spend £500m electrifying Midland Mainline". BBC News. 8 January 2013.
- . Rail Magazine Issue 729. 2013. p. 6. Missing or empty
- "Today's House of Commons debates - Thursday 25 June 2015: Network Rail". UK Parliament. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "TransPennine and Midland Mainline electrification works to resume" (Press release). Department for Transport. 30 September 2015.
- "Electrification of train lines to be restarted by Network Rail". BBC News. 30 September 2015.
- "Midland Main Line / East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy". Strategic Rail Authority. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
- "East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy". Network Rail. February 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
- "Midlands line 'to be electrified'". BBC News Online. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
A £500m scheme … Transport Secretary Justine Greening is set to outline plans to complete the electrification of the route from Sheffield to London on Monday.
- Odell, Mark; Parker, George (13 July 2012). "Osborne backs £10bn rail plan". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
announcement, expected on Monday, is likely to include a £530m plan to complete electrification of the Midland mainline between Bedford and Sheffield
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