Midland Main Line

East Midlands Trains HST at Dore.

TypeInter City, Commuter rail,
Regional rail and Heavy rail
SystemNational Rail
LocaleGreater London
East of England
East Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber
TerminiLondon St. Pancras International
Leeds City
Stations35 (up to Sheffield)
OpenedStages between 1830s-1860s
OwnerNetwork Rail
Operator(s)East Midlands Trains
First Capital Connect
First Transpennine Express
Northern Rail
GB Railfreight
Derby Etches Park
Nottingham Eastcroft
Sheffield Station
Neville Hill
Rolling stockClass 43/HST
Class 150 Sprinter
Class 153 Super Sprinter
Class 156 Super Sprinter
Class 158 Express Sprinter
Class 170 Turbostar
Class 220 Voyager
Class 221 Super Voyager
Class 222 Meridian
Class 319
Class 377 Electrostar
No. of tracks2–4
Track gauge{{#switch:sg
|3mm=3 mm (0.118 in)
|4mm=4 mm (0.157 in)
|4.5mm=4.5 mm (0.177 in)
|4.8mm=4.8 mm (0.189 in)
|6.5mm=6.5 mm (0.256 in)
|6.53mm=6.53 mm (0.257 in)
|8mm=8 mm (0.315 in)
|8.97mm=8.97 mm (0.353 in)
|9mm=9 mm (0.354 in)
|9.42mm=9.42 mm (0.371 in)
|10.5mm=10.5 mm (0.413 in)
|11.94mm=11.94 mm (0.470 in)
|12mm=12 mm (0.472 in)
|12.7mm=12.7 mm (0.5 in)
|13mm=13 mm (0.512 in)
|13.5mm=13.5 mm (0.531 in)
|14mm=14 mm (0.551 in)
|14.125mm=14.125 mm (0.556 in)
|14.2mm=14.2 mm (0.559 in)
|14.28mm=14.28 mm (0.562 in)
|14.3mm=14.3 mm (0.563 in)
|15.76mm=15.76 mm (0.620 in)
Loading gaugeW6-W8[1]
Electrification25kV 50hz AC (South of Bedford)
Operating speed110 mph (Template:Convert/outsep)

The Midland Main Line is a major railway in the United Kingdom from London's St. Pancras station to the northern city of Sheffield via Luton, Bedford, Kettering, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway, Derby/Nottingham and Chesterfield.

Since the closure of the rival Great Central Main Line in the 1960s, the Midland has been the only direct main-line rail link between London and the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

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 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 First Capital Connect), 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, 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 via 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 saw the marginally longer London-Manchester service via Sheffield disbanded: a straight railway from Derby to Manchester having been thwarted in 1863 by the builders of the Buxton Line who sought to monopolise on the West Coast Main Line. The line retains connections to the Peak District via the Hope Valley Line.

History[edit | edit source]

File:British main lines railway diagram.png

Overview of the Midland Main Line in green. In relation to other north-south main lines

File:ATP-E IN YARD.jpg

British Rail APT-E built at Derby rail technical centre and extensively tested on the Midland Main Line its first run being on 25 July 1972 from Derby to Duffield

The Midland Main Line was built in stages between the 1830s and the 1870s, originating in three lines which met at the Tri Junct Station in Derby, which became the Midland Railway.

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 Template:Convert/mi 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.[2] 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,[3] which became known as the Bedpan line and is now part of Thameslink extending to Brighton.

Northernmost Sections

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 Category:Aldwych Branch The Short Streach Of Line Between Holborn And Aldwych Was Closed In 1994.The Line Was Due To be extended to Waterloo but never was.There will be a bit of Aldwych In My Website when added 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.

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.[4] By 1983 the line had been electrified from Moorgate to Bedford, but proposals to continue electrification to Nottingham and Sheffield have not been implemented.

File:MML43083 at Nottingham 2005-10-14 03.jpg

A Midland Mainline High Speed Train at Nottingham in 2005 introduced in 1983 by British Rail

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 Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff to Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff.

Between 2001 and 2003 the line between Derby and Sheffield was upgraded from Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff to Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff 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.[5]

Most recently there are plans for Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff running on extended stretches, improved signalling, increased number of tracks and the revival of proposals to extend electrification from Bedford to Sheffield (see Future section, below).

Corollary lines[edit | edit source]

Also part of the line, as defined by Network Rail,[6] are the:

Accidents[edit | edit source]

Operators[edit | edit source]

East Midlands Trains[edit | edit source]

File:L F CC 377504.JPG

First Capital Connect Class 377 504 at St Albans City

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. The former operator, Midland Mainline also ran limited services to Matlock, Burton-on-Trent and Barnsley. EMT uses a modern Template:BRC Meridian trains in various carriage formations for most of its InterCity services. Older 8 carriage HST are used for its Nottingham fast service as well as its Leeds services.

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.

First Capital Connect[edit | edit source]

First Capital Connect provides frequent, 24 hour[7] commuter services south of Bedford as part of its Thameslink route to London Bridge, Gatwick Airport, Brighton and Sutton. Using 4 car electric Template:BRC and Template:BRC Electrostar trains which can be coupled into 8 and 12 car formations.

CrossCountry and Northern Rail[edit | edit source]

CrossCountry runs half hourly services to 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[edit | edit source]

File:St Pancras Railway Station 2012-06-23.jpg

The Victorian London St Pancras terminus opened in 1896


Wellingborough station

File:Corby railway station 23 February 2009.jpg

Modular design Corby station opened in 2009

File:Leicester Rail Station - geograph.org.uk - 1266728.jpg

Leicester station

File:East Midlands Parkway Railway Station.JPG

East Midlands Parkway station opened in 2007

File:Rush hour in Nottingham^ - geograph.org.uk - 1564648.jpg

Nottingham station


Chesterfield station

File:Sheffield Railway Station .jpg

Sheffield station

The cities, towns and villages currently served by the MML are listed below. Stations in bold have a high usage. Be aware this section details the original line 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 group 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)[edit | edit source]

Station Village/Town/City and County Ordnance Survey
grid reference
Year Opened Step Free Access No. of Platforms Usage 2011/12
Branches and loops
London St Pancras St Pancras, London 1868 15px 15 11px 22.996 High Speed 1 diverges north of St Pancras
Kentish Town Kentish Town, London 1868 4 11px 1.505 Branch from to Gospel Oak to Barking Line north of station
West Hampstead Thameslink West Hampstead, London 1871 15px 4 11px 2.778
Cricklewood Cricklewood, London 1868 4 11px 1.067 Dudding Hill Line diverges north of Cricklewood
Hendon Hendon, London 1868 4 11px 0.910 Dudding Hill Line diverges south of Hendon
Mill Hill Broadway Mill Hill, London Template:Gbmapping 1868 4 11px 1.981
Elstree & Borehamwood Borehamwood, Hertfordshire 1868 4 11px 3.112
Radlett Radlett, Hertfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1868 4 11px 1.085
St Albans City St Albans, Hertfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1868 15px 4 11px 6.509
Harpenden Harpenden, Hertfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1868 4 11px 2.3
Luton Airport Parkway Luton, Bedfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1999 15px 4 11px 2.430
Luton Luton, Bedfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1868 5 11px 3.440
Leagrave Leagrave, Luton, Bedfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1868 4 11px 1.687
Harlington Harlington, Bedfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1868 4 11px 0.308
Flitwick Flitwick, Bedforshire Template:Gbmapping 1870 4 11px 1.245
Bedford Midland Bedford, Bedfordshire Template:Gbmapping 1859 15px 5 11px 3.304 Marston Vale Line diverges south of Bedford
Wellingborough Wellingborough, Northamptonshire Template:Gbmapping 1857 15px 3 11px 0.950
Kettering Kettering, Northamptonshire Template:Gbmapping 1857 15px 4 11px 0.996 Oakham to Kettering Line diverges north of Kettering at Glendon Jun
via Corby & diversion route
Corby Corby, Northamptonshire Template:Gbmapping 2009 15px 1 11px 0.215 Oakham to Kettering Line
Oakham Oakham, Rutland Template:Gbmapping 1848 15px 2 11px 0.199 Birmingham to Peterborough Line
Melton Mowbray Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire Template:Gbmapping 1848 2 11px 0.234
Main Line via Market Harborough
Market Harborough Market Harborough, Leicestershire Template:Gbmapping 1850 15px 2 11px 0.746
Leicester Leicester, Leicestershire Template:Gbmapping 1840 15px 4 11px 4.880 Birmingham to Peterborough Line diverges south of Leicester at Wigston Junction
Syston Syston, Leicestershire Template:Gbmapping 1994 15px 1 11px 0.187 Birmingham to Peterborough Line diverges north of Syston
Sileby Sileby, Leicestershire Template:Gbmapping 1994 2 11px 0.108
Barrow-upon-Soar Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire Template:Gbmapping 1994 2 11px 0.753
Loughborough Loughborough, Leicestershire Template:Gbmapping 1872 15px 3 11px 1.249
East Midlands Parkway Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire (for East Midlands Airport) Template:Gbmapping 2007 15px 4 11px 0.262 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
Via Derby
Long Eaton Long Eaton, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1888 15px 2 11px 0.586 Cord south of Long Eaton to the Nottingham branch
Spondon Spondon, Derby, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1839 15px 2 11px 0.198
Derby Midland Derby, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1839 15px 6 11px 3.351 Cross Country Route and Crewe to Derby Line diverges south of Derby
Duffield Duffield, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1867 3 11px 0.533
Belper Belper, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1840 15px 2 11px 0.174
Ambergate (old platforms) Ambergate, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1840 15px 1 11px 0.340 Derwent Valley Line diverges at Ambergate Junction
Via Nottingham
Attenborough Attenborough, Nottinghamshire Template:Gbmapping 1856 15px 2 11px 0.798
Beeston Beeston, Nottinghamshire Template:Gbmapping 1839 2 11px 0.54
Nottingham Midland Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Template:Gbmapping 1904 15px 6 11px 6.437 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 Template:Gbmapping 1847 2 11px 0.938 Erewash Valley and Trent Nottingham Lines rejoin together south of Langley Mill.
Alfreton Alfreton, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1862 2 11px 0.212
Clay Cross Junction to Leeds
Chesterfield Chesterfield, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1840 15px 3 11px 1.487 Trent Junction to Clay Cross via Derby and Erewash Valley Lines rejoin together south of Chesterfield.
Dronfield Dronfield, Derbyshire Template:Gbmapping 1981 15px 2 11px 0.152 Hope Valley Line diverges north of Dronfield
Sheffield Midland Sheffield, South Yorkshire Template:Gbmapping 1870 15px 9 11px 8.424 Hope Valley Line diverges south of Sheffield
Sheffield to Lincoln Line diverges north of Sheffield
Meadowhall Interchange Sheffield, South Yorkshire Template:Gbmapping 1990 15px 4 NR 11px 2.057 Hallam and Penistone Lines diverges at Meadowhall
Via Doncaster
Doncaster Doncaster, South Yorkshire Template:Gbmapping 1838 15px 8 11px 3.883 Connects to the East Coast Main Line south of Doncaster
Bypassing Doncaster
Wakefield Westgate Wakefield, West Yorkshire Template:Gbmapping 1867 2 11px 2,270 Connects with the East Coast Main Line south of Wakefield Westgate
Leeds City Leeds, West Yorkshire Template:Gbmapping 1938 15px 17 11px 25.020 Leeds City Lines
File:Milford Tunnel.jpg

A Midland Mainline High Speed Train emerging from Milford Tunnel.

Tunnel Stations between
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[edit | edit source]

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.

Town/City Station Ordnance Survey
grid reference
Ambergate Ambergate
Whatstandwell Whatstandwell
Cromford Cromford
Matlock Bath Matlock Bath
Matlock Matlock
Closed Section Stations
Darley Dale Darley Dale
Rowsley Rowsley
Bakewell Bakewell
Hassop Hassop
Great Longstone Great Longstone for Ashford
Monsal Dale Monsal Dale
Millers Dale Millers Dale
Blackwell Mill Blackwell Mill
Buxton Buxton
Peak Forest Peak Forest
Chapel-en-le-Frith Chapel-en-le-Frith Central
Now part of the Hope Valley Line or other lines
Chinley Chinley
Bugsworth Buxworth (Now Closed)
New Mills New Mills Central
Strines Strines
Marple Marple
Romiley Romiley
Bredbury Bredbury
Brinnington Brinnington
Reddish Reddish North
Gorton Ryder Brow
Belle Vue/Gorton Belle Vue
Stockport Stockport (Teviot Dale)
Manchester Manchester Central (Now Closed)
File:Ambergate junction.jpg

The complex network of road and rail around Ambergate Junction, formerly where Manchester expresses left the mainline

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[edit | edit source]

For marketing and franchising, this is no longer considered part of the Midland Main Line: see Settle-Carlisle Railway.


A geographical representation of the aborted Midland Main Line diversion through the West Riding, which would have put Bradford on a through line and provided a direct connection to Scotland. (Existing lines shown in black and the diversion in red).

File:Colne, Halifax, Holmfield & Keighley Laister Dyke, Bowling, Bradford, Low Moor & Shipley RJD 8.jpg

Map showing the proposed Midland line into Bradford

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-yard 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.

Former stations[edit | edit source]

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 mainline used to serve include


Looking south along the Midland Main Line at St. Albans.

File:Ricture 053.jpg

The Erewash Valley Line, part of the Midland Main Line. Seen here at Stapleford.

File:British Rail Class 43 at Chesterfield.jpg

British Rail High Speed Train near Chesterfield

File:Overview of Leeds City railway station 04.jpg

Leeds railway station, a former key reversal point on the Midland Main Line on the route north

The following on the original North Midland Railway line

Future[edit | edit source]

Network Rail's plans[edit | edit source]

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.[8]
  • Rebuilding Bedford, Leicester[9] and Nottingham stations, which would also involve an enhanced approach layout during re-signalling works.
  • Accessibility enhancements at Loughborough, Luton, Harpenden, Long Eaton, Wellingborough and Elstree & Borehamwood by 2015.[10]
  • 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 (slewing) of the line to allow faster speeds through Market Harborough station.
  • 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.[11]

Electrification[edit | edit source]

File:222001 , Stretton.jpg

Diesel Class 222 Meridian trains will no longer be needed for most services after electrification

Work to reconfigure the existing electrified section and to electrify the entire line was announced on 16 July 2012 for completion by 2019 at an expected cost of £800 million.[12]

In January 2013, Network Rail announced that it was to be electrified at a cost of £500 million during Control Period 5 (April 2014 - March 2019).[13] Its planned that the Bedford to Corby section will be electrified by 2017, Kettering to Derby and Nottingham by 2019 and Derby to Sheffield by 2020.[14] Nottingham to Clay Cross via Alfreton is not currently planned to be electrified, nor is the Corby to Syston via Oakham route, which acts as a diversion route during track some blockades.

Growth[edit | edit source]

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;[15] Network Rail started a new study in February 2008 and this was published in February 2010.[16] [17][18][19] After electrification, the North Northamptonshire and South Leciestershire towns (Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby and Market Harborough) 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 7,000 new homes planned to be built in Wellingborough and Kettering alone.[20][21]

2010 Route plan[edit | edit source]

Network Rail's 2010 route plan for the Midland Main Line[22] 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[edit | edit source]

Freight utilisation strategy[edit | edit source]

Network Rail published a Route Utilisation Strategy for freight in 2007;[23] 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.

Thameslink Programme[edit | edit source]

File:West Hampstead Thameslink Station building.jpg

New station building at West Hampstead Thameslink

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 new a footbridge installed and a new station building constructed. After September 2014, the Thameslink Great Northern franchise, currently operated by First Capital Connect will be re-franchised. After July 2015 Southern services will be merged with it.

Route Utilisation Strategy[edit | edit source]

In the East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy, Network Rail recommended the InterCity Express Programme trains, the Template:BRC in 10 car formations for the InterCity services. [24] Two 775 meter 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.

Stations[edit | edit source]

Nottingham station is being refurbished at a cost of £50 million, creating a better interchange with Trams and Taxis. A new platform canopy is planned for platform 6 and the station frontage will be cleaned. A muti story car park has already been constructed. Additionally the Nottingham station area has been through a month long blockade with a new platform constructed, 143 new signals, track replacements, junction simplification for higher speeds, four signal boxes closed and replaced with the Derby signalling centre, two level crossings renewed and two level crossings closed and replaced with footbridges[25][26]

As part of Wellingborough's Station Cross development, Wellingborough station is to be expanded, with an extra station building on a re-opened platform 4 as well as a 6 story and a 3 story car park.[27][28]

There are also new stations planned or proposed on the Midland Main Line.

Three stations are planned:

Stations proposed:

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. East Midlands RUS Loading Gauge. Network Rail. Retrieved on 2010-08-21.
  2. A Midland Railway chronology>Incorporation and expansion. The Midland Railway Society (1998).[dead link]
  3. A Midland Railway chronology>London extension. The Midland Railway Society (1998).
  4. Anonymous (Winter 1979). Railway Electrification. British Railways Board (Central Publicity Unit), 0–2, 8. 
  5. East Midlands Parkway - Our greenest station to open on 26 January. East Midlands Trains (14 January 2009).
  6. Route 19 Midland Main Line and East Midlands (pdf).
  7. First Capital Connect: Thameslink Route Timetable B Retrieved 24 August 2013
  8. Template:Cite press release
  9. Template:Cite news
  10. DFT: Access For All Stations. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  11. CP4 Delivery Plan 2010, Enhancements programme: statement of scope, outputs, and milestones.. Network Rail (September 2010). Retrieved on 2010-10-06.
  12. Template:Cite press release
  13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20938620
  14. (2013) {{{title}}}. Rail Magazine Issue 729, 6. 
  15. Midland Main Line / East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy. Strategic Rail Authority. Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  16. East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy. Network Rail (February 2010). Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  17. Template:Cite news
  18. Template:Cite news
  19. Working Group 4 – Electrification Strategy. Network Rail. Retrieved on 2009-09-27.
  20. Template:Cite news
  21. Template:Cite news
  22. Midland Main Line 2010 route plan, Network Rail.
  23. Route Utilisation Strategy > Freight. Network Rail.
  24. Network Rail: East Midlands Draft Route Utilisation Strategy. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  25. Network Rail: Nottingham Hub Retrieved 23 August 2013
  26. Nottingham Station: 'Five weeks of pain' and how it affects you. BBC News. 23 August 2013
  27. Woods Hardwick: Wellingborough station plans 23 August 2013
  28. BBC News: Wellingborough railway station expansion plan unveiled Retrieved 23 August 2013
  29. Brent Cross Cricklewood: Transport Retrieved 23 August 2013
  30. The Wixams: Transportation Retrieved 23 August 2013
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  32. 32.0 32.1 ATOC: Connecting Communities Report. Retrieved 4 January 2010.[dead link]
  33. Bedfordshire Ampthill station, Railway & Transport Association. Retrieved 4 January 2010.

External links[edit | edit source]

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