Network Rail has been implementing various schemes to upgrade the Midland main line (MML). These include extending overhead electrification from Bedford to Corby, improving line speed through an improved Market Harborough station and remodelling Derby station.
To obtain regulatory approval, Network Certification Body (NCB) was appointed to act as the NoBo (Notified Body), DeBo (Designated Body) and AsBo (Assessment Body) on the various schemes and to take electrification of the line from Kettering to Corby forward from GRIP stage 3 (option selection).
In 2012, plans were announced to extend the electrification of MML from Bedford through to Sheffield, to be completed by 2020. However, the full programme was ‘paused’ in 2015 before recommencing, with several key element already complete or underway.
The London to Corby scheme made significant advances by extending the electrification, constructing a new line between Kettering South Junction and Sharnbrook Junction, and introduced a new platform and footbridge extension at Wellingborough station.
NCB established an effective and collaborative working relationship with its client, developing a progressive assurance approach to achieve shared goals. This collaborative approach enabled the teams to overcome technical challenges together and supported the project in meeting its targets. NCB produced key deliverables for significant milestones supporting the projects to achieve successful authorisation of multiple schemes within the MML Upgrade.
NCB is proud to have supported the MML team in achieving an industry-first ‘clean’ authorisation for the London to Corby infrastructure sub-system. Through actively applying lessons learned and continued improvement from previous schemes, NCB was able to offer the MML Upgrade an approach that was efficient, collaborative and proactively identified risk to avoid delays and unplanned cost.
One key efficiency was the certification of the new UKMS overhead contact line system on the London to Corby scheme, where an intermediate statement of verification (ISV) was produced. This ISV allows subsequent projects in the MML Upgrade to utilise the certification and avoid cost and save time and effort.