Network Rail and East Midlands Railway are urging passengers to check before travelling this weekend and next as the latest stage of the Midland Main Line Upgrade takes place.
This is in addition to warnings of heavy rain and high winds as Storm Dennis hits the UK this weekend.
On 15/16 and 22/23 February, Network Rail will continue with work to electrify the route from London to Kettering and Corby via Bedford.
Over these weekends, work will take place to commission and test three new substations along the route, as well as a new 400kV National Grid supply point at Sundon, which will feed power to the railway.
This work will help to improve the resilience of the railway and provide more power, which will allow more trains to run in the future.
To allow this work to take place safely, an amended timetable will be in place on both weekends:
- Saturday, 15 February and Saturday, 22 February – Line between Leicester and Bedford will be closed. During this time, no trains will run between Bedford and Leicester with coach replacement services instead.
- Sunday, 16 February and Sunday, 23 February – Line between Leicester and Luton closed, meaning bus replacement services will be in operation between these areas.
- 15/16 and 22/23 February – Trains will not run between Kettering and Corby. Bus replacement services in operation.
Passengers are strongly urged to check their journey ahead of time via National Rail Enquiries or with East Midlands Railway, as there will be a reduced service in place and journey times will take longer than usual.
Gavin Crook, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said, “This is a key milestone in the Midland Main Line Upgrade and brings us one step closer to completing this vital project which will bring huge benefits to passengers.
“We’re sorry that this work can’t be done without impacting on passengers and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“I’d like to reassure passengers that we are working hard with East Midlands Railway to keep them moving, but we would urge all those planning to travel to check beforehand via National Rail Enquiries or with East Midlands Railway.”
Lisa Angus, Transition and Projects Director for East Midlands Railway, said, “The work taking place over these two weekends in February is a crucial milestone towards completing the electrification of the line between London St Pancras and Corby.
“We are asking any passengers travelling over these weekends to check our website before they travel as their journey times will be extended and part of their journey will be via a coach replacement service,
“We appreciate that the work will disrupt our passengers during this time and we are working with Network Rail to ensure we get people where they need to be. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”