Views sought on plans for Electrification of Midland Main Line 30th Apr 2013

For those who don’t know, earlier this year Network Rail and the Government announced plans to electrify the Midland Mainline between Bedford and Sheffield during the period between 2014-19. This would, of course, mean the electrification of the service running through Market Harborough station. HRU broadly supports this upgrade to our service but also hopes that this doesn’t delay the other work that desperately needs to be done at Market Harborough station – primarily the up line platform extension and line straightening work through Harborough station. We wait to see how these will be taken forward. In the meantime, we’d be interested in your views on the plans for electrification.


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Response from Secretary of State for Transport 23rd Apr 2013

We have received a reply from the Secretary of State for Transport via Sir Edward Garnier, MP for Harborough, regarding our questions related to the franchise extension and our desire to see improvements for passengers. The letter makes clear that negotiations are yet to take place and that they are likely to begin later in the year. We will of course push to ensure that we are involved in any consultations.

East Midlands Trains franchise extension 29th Mar 2013

It is now nearly seven years since Harborough Rail Users ran a successful campaign to protect our twice-hourly off-peak rail service during the franchise negotiations that saw East Midlands Trains supersede Midland Mainline. In doing so we also achieved the additional benefit of an hourly non-stop train to London as part of the off-peak service. It was an exceptional result and came about primarily from the coordinated efforts of HRU and, in turn, the local community pulling behind our campaign. It’s therefore with great interest that we read recently about the extension that has been given to several rail franchise holders – particularly the East Midlands Trains franchise, scheduled to run until April 2015 but extended to October 2017.


As a result of this we have written a letter to the Department for Transport and East Midlands Trains asking the following:

  • To ask what improvements for passengers are proposed for the duration of the extended franchise, and when they will happen
  • Asking what consultation there will be with passengers and user groups on this
  • Reiterating the call for improvements at MH station, and expressing the hope that the franchise extension does not delay this or other improvements
  • Asking for confirmation that at least the present pattern of services, including fast trains between MH and St P be maintained for the duration.

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