Work is now underway before the electrification of the Harborough to Kettering railway line

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Critical work is underway from today (Monday) ahead of the electrification of the Market Harborough to Kettering railway line as part of a massive £ 1.5bn upgrade for the region.

Critical work is underway from today (Monday) ahead of the electrification of the Market Harborough to Kettering railway line as part of a massive £ 1.5bn upgrade for the region.

Network Rail is carrying out the near-track tree and plant felling project in Market Harborough.

From today, vegetation work will take place until Friday, April 16 to clear enough space.

“Network Rail is committed to increasing the amount of biodiversity and strives to balance the need to remove vegetation near the tracks with work to create new habitats and protect the environment for future generations.” , said a spokesperson.

During construction at Market Harborough, some of the larger trees that need to be felled will be used to create piles of logs.

Teams will also scatter wildflower seed mixes and set up bird and bat nesting boxes on the lot next to this section of the railroad tracks.

“This work is managed in a sustainable manner and controls are in place to protect all wildlife. At the start of each day, workers will check if there are bird nests, and if there are, exclusion zones will be placed around the nest, no work taking place in this section ”, said the spokesperson for Network Rail.

“Environmentalists will also be available to provide support to workers when needed. “

Crews will remove trees, shrubs and plants that are within 21 feet (6.5 meters) of the tracks.

This is the minimum national requirement that must be cleared on either side of an electrified line.

Trees that are between 21 feet from the track and the track fence will only be removed if the work is essential to the safety of passengers and workers.

Trees too close to the railway could fall on the catenaries, damaging equipment and disrupting services.

If not cut, trees can also cover signals, block the visibility of train drivers, or fall on the track.

All of this work will be carried out in accordance with the latest government guidelines on social distancing and will not impact train services for passengers on essential journeys.

Network Rail wrote to people living near the tracks with details of the program.

Residents have also been invited to an online event to get more information.

The works will take place in sections along the daytime line from Monday to Sunday, as well as at night between Saturday and Thursday.

Teams will work to keep noise to a minimum.

Gavin Crook, main program sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We need to remove the trees that are in the vicinity of the railway line at Market Harborough as part of the preparatory work to allow electrification of the line, allowing faster and more reliable services. without issue.

“We understand how important trees are to people in the community and we have implemented measures following ecological surveys to protect the environment.”

He added, “Work is vital to the safety of our workers and passengers as we invest in the future of passengers and freight users along the Midland Main Line.


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