Network Rail has been instructed to design an extension of the Midland main line electrification programme from Kettering to Market Harborough station, rail minister Andrew Jones has confirmed.
Andrew said the extension will enable it to connect to a trackside feeder station which is being constructed in the nearby village of Braybrooke.
This was determined to be “the best value for money option” at the outline business case stage in March 2018, he added.
In line with normal practice, this will be tested again when the overall Midland main line programme Key Output 1A is assessed at full business case stage.
Maria Machancoses, director of development body Midlands Connect, said the move is “the first step towards giving the East Midlands the transport infrastructure it deserves.”
She added: “The next steps include extending electrification to Leicester, Toton and Nottingham, to support Midlands Connect’s ambition for direct conventional compatible HS2 services between Leicester and Leeds and Nottingham and Leeds, via Toton.”
Plans to electrify the Midland main line north of Kettering were abandoned by the government in July 2017 in favour of bi-mode, or ‘alternative-fuel’, trains.