Electrification of Midland Mainline Train Line
The electrification project for the Midland Mainline north of Market Harborough has begun. Three secure compounds have been created – South Wigston, Wistow Road (Kibworth Harcourt) and East Langton. These compounds are for delivery of materials, access and welfare and the cabins are solar powered.
An initial public meeting was held in KGSH on 18 July. One of the first tasks is the removal of vegetation alongside the railway line. Diseased and invasive plants along with tall trees, that could affect the gantries used for the wiring, started to be removed overnight from mid August. It is part of a sustainable land use plan. Bird nesting season will be avoided where possible, and hundreds of bird and bug boxes are being donated.
Once the vegetation has been cleared for each section, the installation of the overhead gantries will start. This involves pile driving the foundations for the pillars every 50m or so along the section. Each piling should take 20-40mins to complete and all must be done at night using equipment that runs along the rails, so avoiding conflict with daytime passenger and freight train services.
The approximate timescale has the vegetation management running until June 2023. Piling is expected to start in October 2022 and be completed by August 2023. The wiring element of the project is due to commence in January 2023 and be completed by the end of the year, meaning the works should be complete after quality assurance testing by January 2024. Like all big infrastructure projects, these dates are subject to change!
Further information, and ways to contact Network Rail, can be found at networkrail.co.uk/mml