Will rail electrification reach Market Harborough?

Work is continuing on the improvements to Market Harborough's rail station
Work is continuing on the improvements to Market Harborough's rail station

Market Harborough could benefit from a growing campaign to re-launch the electrification plans for the Midland Mainline.

The plan for full electrification of the line was scrapped by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in July 2017.

It meant the modernising electrificiation stopped just south of Market Harborough – at Kettering and Corby.

But East Midlands councils and MPs – inclding Harborough MP Neil O’Brien – have since been campaigning for the electrification of the whole line, even if it is in phases.

And Parliament’s Transport Select Committee has since said in a report that the electrification should be re-categorised as a “pending” project rather than a cancelled one.

“While electrification on the scale, and at the pace, envisaged in 2012 has proven unachievable, there is strong evidence that it remains the current optimal solution on heavily-used parts of the railway” the report concluded.

Rail electrification is already tantalisingly close to Market Harborough.

“The power supply substation for the Kettering and Corby electrification will be at Braybrooke, little more than a mile south of Market Harborough, where the National Grid high-voltage power line crosses the railway” explained Steve Jones, chair of Harborough Rail Users.

But Neil O’Brien said he was still waiting to hear if current electrification plans would extend to Market Harborough station.