Thursday, October 03, 2019

Call to reopen the Market Harborough to Northampton line

Thirty-eight years ago I travelled on the last train from Market Harborough to Northampton. Now comes news from Harborough FM that there is talk of reopening the line.

'Steve Jones, Chairman of Harborough Rail Users Group', incidentally, was my companion on that journey in 1981.

The cause of this Harborough FM item is the consultation document for the new West Northamptonshire Strategic Plan, which says:
North - South Rail: The re-opening the Market Harborough to Northampton line would provide the potential for a new national corridor. If pursued, this would link the Midland Main Line northwards – thereby including such places as Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield – and the West Coast Main Line southwards – thereby including such places as Milton Keynes, Watford and London. 
Creating a new set of efficient economic and social connections should have significant positive impacts nationally and for West Northamptonshire. The north-south rail scheme would complement proposals for East-West Rail which are a key element of the vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. 
The route of the former railway is used as a 14 mile walking and cycling route known as the Brampton Valley Way. Compensatory provision would need to be considered if the rail scheme were to be implemented. 
If the line was restored on its original route into Market Harborough then there would need to be some demolition and the restoration of a level crossing on the road where I live.

That all that makes it sound rather unlikely, but I would love to see the line reopened.


crewegwyn said...

Is there capacity for extra trains between MH and Leicester?

Jonathan Calder said...

Maybe not, though there used to be four tracks through Kibworth.

The other problem is the amount of demoliton that would be required in Market Harborough. Discussing this with someone last night, we thought that a new chord joining the MML near Braybrooke might be possible.