Sombre over Sharnbrook


To Leicestershire for a funeral. I decided to make a virtue out of a sombre necessity and check out the operating conundrum of the moment, the southern end of the Midland main line. Thanks to the hospitality of Martin Ward, deputy to the Head of Drivers at East Midlands Trains, a trip up front was a possibility, and what better traction than an IC125 on the Nottingham run?

Soon after departure in the cab of power car No 43089, where driver Ian Moss of Derby depot is our host, conversation turns to control of the route. Following recent work Three Bridges is now responsible for the southern end of the Midland main line, giving the Sussex Rail Operating Centre an overview of the Thameslink route. This summer will witness the remodelling of the layout at Derby, with the East Midlands Control Centre (Derby ROC) adding the tracks on its doorstep to those further afield that it already controls. After this work a journey from St Pancras to York will be accomplished under the aegis of just three ROCs: Three Bridges, Derby and York.

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