Work up for grabs on £1.3bn Midland Main Line electrification scheme

Contractors have been alerted to the next phases of work on Network Rail’s £1.3bn Midland Main Line (MML) electrification programme.

In a prior information notice, Network Rail has revealed the details of a market engagement briefing, which will take place before the start of tendering for the next phases of the project.

The programme will enable the electric operation of new bi-mode trains on the whole of the MML, from South Wigston to Sheffield – a 139km stretch of the line with 67 structures.

This will involve delivering works for the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) extension to Sheffield and Nottingham, route clearance to accommodate the OLE extension, and increased power supply to support electric passenger services to Sheffield and Nottingham.

Part of the electrification programme has already been procured and is “in delivery”, comprising electrification between Kettering and South Wigston.

The next stage of procurement for the MML electrification programme is split into the following route sections:

  • Route Section 2 (RS2) – South Wigston to Syston, 19.5km
  • Route Section 3 (RS3) – Syston to Trent Junction, 28.7km
  • Route Section 4 (RS4) – Sheet Stores Junction to Chaddesden Sidings (Derby), 15.7km
  • Route Section 5 (RS5) – Trent Junction to Nottingham, 13.1km
  • Route Section 6 (RS6) – Chaddesden Sidings (Derby) to Toadmoor Tunnel, 16.7km
  • Route Section 7 (RS7) – Toadmoor Tunnel to London Road, 43.3km
  • Route Section 8 (RS8) – London Road to Sheffield North, 2.5km

The market engagement briefing event will be held at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, and online as an MS Teams live event on 15 June at 10am and 1pm.

The electrification programme is a continuation of the completed London-to-Corby electrification.

As part of the MML upgrade, work was carried out last year to install new overhead line equipment between Bedford and Corby, as well as improvements to station platforms and major work to upgrade bridges on the route to make way for electrification between London St Pancras International and Corby.

In May, about 740m of track was renewed between Luton and Bedford, and testing and commissioning of two new substations on the line has also been carried out as part of the upgrade.

The two new substations are on the route between Bedford and Ampthill. They will help to improve resilience on the railway, as well as providing the power needed to allow more trains to run in the future.

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