Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Major upgrade of Market Harborough station to be announced

"Multi-million pound plans to upgrade a railway station to improve journey times from Leicester to London are to be unveiled on Monday," said the Leicester Mercury last week.

I can't find any announcement of these plans on the Network Rail or East Midlands trains website yet, but according to the Mercury:
The details will be outlined to Harborough District Council representatives at a closed meeting on Monday. 
The improvements, which are under wraps until after the meeting, will also include building longer platforms at Market Harborough station and building a lift to improve access for people with disabilities to the southbound platform. 
Work could start on the scheme next year.
Monday's meeting comes after the Government agreed to spend £3 million on the new lift two years ago.
The report also quotes an old friend of mine who knows about such things:
Rail users group spokesman Steve Jones said: "We have known the key elements of the scheme for some time. 
"But it is good that at last plans have been drawn up so we shall be able to see what is being proposed." 
He said: " There are two possible schemes. The big expensive one which could include building a new station beside the existing one and another smaller scheme which includes the key improvements on a pared down scale." 
Mr Jones said to straighten the bend through the station would require new tracks being laid through the existing car park. 
He added: "That would require new longer platforms to be built and the car park moved to the other side of the track."
These improvements have been in the air for a very long time. Forty years ago the new buildings on platform 1 were built at an angle to the line to allow for its later straightening. But if the scheme is really radical, they may be demolished as part of it.

The Mercury quotes a Network Rail spokesman as saying a public exhibition of the proposals for the station will be held in the town's market hall on 27 February.

Let us leave the last word to Phil Knowles, a Liberal Democrat councillor in whose ward the stations stands:
"At long last the plans to bring Harborough station into the 21st century are to be unveiled. 
"I would urge people to attend the public exhibition on February 27."

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