The Department for Transport (DfT) in the UK has decided to extend the electrification of the Midland Main Line up to Market Harborough station in Leicestershire.

The decision was confirmed by UK Rail Minister Andrew Jones while answering a question from Harborough MP Neil O’Brien.

As per the earlier plan, electrification works would have only extended to Kettering.

Jones stated that Network Rail has been tasked to design electrification infrastructure from Kettering to Market Harborough station as part of the £1.5bn Midland Mainline programme.

“Electrification is clearly the optimal solution for intensively used rail lines, and the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Electrification Cost Challenge.”

The decision has been welcomed by the trade group for railway equipment manufacturers Railway Industry Association (RIA).

RIA technical director David Clarke said: “We welcome the announcement today that electrification of the Midland Mainline will continue into Leicestershire and support the Government keeping electrification on the table for future enhancement projects.

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“As this decision shows, electrification is clearly the optimal solution for intensively used rail lines, and the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Electrification Cost Challenge, due to be published next week, will show how we can deliver schemes even more cost-effectively in future.”

Initial plans to electrify most of the Midland Main Line was announced in 2012, however, work on the project was halted in 2015.

Later in September 2015, DfT revised completion dates for electrification, with works for Kettering and Corby due to be completed in 2019, and the extension further north expected by 2023.

In 2017, DfT cancelled the electrification programme of the section between Kettering and Sheffield amidst spiralling costs.