Travel warning as Midlands Mainline hit by 16 days of work

East Midlands Railway (EMR) has warned 16 days of travel chaos are coming with half term holiday journeys set to be affected. The warning has been issued ahead of works on the Midland Mainline[1] which rail bosses say will cause “significant” impacts on planned travel.

EMR is warning that from this Saturday (May 27) essential track upgrades to the Midland Mainline - which runs through Leicester[2] to London - will be getting underway. These works are set to last for just over two weeks, running to Sunday, June 11.

EMR bosses have confirmed that the works will impact all parts of the East Midlands, with a reduced number of services available in Leicestershire[3]. This includes routes between London St Pancras International and Sheffield - which has stops in the county - which will now be sent on a diversion to limit disruption.

Neil Grabham, customer services director for EMR[5], said: “We are asking any customers planning to travel over the Summer half term, between May 27 and June 11, to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to complete their journeys. There will be fewer Intercity services to Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield, and journey times will be extended.”

The works are being carried out by Network Rail to Derbyshire’s Clay Cross tunnel which will see drainage upgraded, sleepers replaced and specialist equipment put in place to help improve the tunnel during poorer weather. Upgrades will also be carried out on the Milford tunnel in Derbyshire, adding to reduced services across the Midlands.

EMR have confirmed that during the works, there will be a reduced Monday to Saturday timetable of one train per hour between London St Pancras and Sheffield. This train will not call at Derby.

On Sunday, June 4, the operator says one train will run per hour from Sheffield (via Derby) to London St Pancras. There will also be just one train per hour between Derby and London St Pancras between 2pm and 6.30pm on the same day.

Alongside the upgrades, EMR have warned that no trains will run[6] on two days of the Midland Mainline works due to strikes by the ASLEF union. This means no services will be available on either Wednesday, May 31 or Saturday, June 3.

Steve Hopkinson, route director for Network Rail in the East Midlands, said: “This important scheme is essential to maintaining a safe, reliable, and smooth service for passengers and freight users through the tunnels. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience whilst we complete this essential engineering work and urge anyone who is planning to travel to check National Rail Enquiries or their train operator’s website before setting off.”

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  1. ^ Midland Mainline (
  2. ^ Leicester (
  3. ^ Leicestershire (
  4. ^ Major delays in Leicester as roadworks begin on busy road (
  5. ^ EMR (
  6. ^ no trains will run (
  7. ^ sign up to our newsletters here. (