Passengers reminded to check before they travel as vital work to improve the main line into St Pancras International continues

Published on : Friday, May 22, 2015

networkrail-placeholderNetwork Rail will be carrying out essential work to the railway in the Bedford area on Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24 to prepare for faster and more reliable journeys.

Engineers will be replacing a key junction, which allows trains to cross from one track to another, to deliver more reliable services in and out of Bedford. New track is also being installed in Knighton, south of Leicester.

On Saturday and Sunday, East Midlands Trains will be running an amended timetable, with a reduced service running between Bedford and London St Pancras International.

For passengers in Bedford travelling north, buses will replace trains between Bedford, Wellingborough, Market Harborough and Leicester to connect with trains.

The work will not affect train services on Monday May 25.

Steve Hughes, Network Rail area director, said: “These upgrades are a vital step towards us being able to provide better, smoother and more reliable journeys for the millions of passengers who use this essential rail artery every year.

“We try our best to minimise the impact on passengers and do most of the work behind the scenes, but there some upgrades that can only be completed when the railway is clear of trains. We would like to thank passengers in advance for bearing with us as it will mean some changes to their travel plans.”

Neil Micklethwaite, Customer Experience and Commercial Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “This is essential work to upgrade the track and signalling around Bedford to allow us to deliver a more reliable railway, however we know this will have a significant impact on our customers travelling to and from London over the bank holiday weekend.

“It is extremely important that customers check their journey before travelling and leave extra time if possible. We’ll be making sure it is as easy as possible for our customers and we will be providing extra staff at stations to help our customers and full information can be found on our website at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk or follow us on Twitter.”

Thameslink, which also runs services from Bedford station to St Pancras, expects services to be busier than normal on Saturday and Sunday because of East Midlands Trains amended timetable. East Midlands Trains tickets will be accepted on trains between Bedford and London St Pancras.

A large section of Bedford station car park will be closed for East Midlands Trains rail replacement buses but there will be ample capacity for motorists to park.

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