Kettering progress: this new signal gantry has appeared north of the station. Unit No 222004 passes north on 13 November 2017. Mick Alderman

CARILLION IS to deliver electrification of the Midland main line to Corby, but electric services will not start running until December 2020, a year later than previously envisaged.

The company has been awarded two contracts by Network Rail. The first, valued at £62 million, is to upgrade track and infrastructure between London and Corby.

The second, awarded to the Carillion Powerlines joint venture with Powerlines Group, covers completion of electrification to Corby and is expected to generate revenue of around £260 million over the next three years. NR said in mid-November that installation of the first masts had begun between Kettering and Corby.

NR’s original schedule envisaged electrification from Bedford to Corby being completed in time for electric services to start in December 2019. This is concurrent with delivery of a sixth high-speed path into St Pancras, which requires installation of a fourth track throughout between Bedford and Kettering to provide a capacity increase. However, Network Rail’s latest update of its Enhancements Delivery Plan confirms the electrified infrastructure will now be authorised for use by August 2020, with the first timetabled use of the infrastructure at the end of that year.

Meanwhile, the EDP section on the Midland main line upgrade now includes ‘bi-mode enabling’ works, which would allow the fleet of bi-mode trains which the Department for Transport plans to acquire in the next East Midlands franchise to operate between St Pancras, Nottingham and Sheffield. This programme includes connections to the National Grid, adjustments to the fast lines south of Bedford to allow for electric traction to operate at full linespeed and provision of infrastructure capable of high-speed traction changeover.

Delivery of these works is planned for an unspecified date in Control Period 6 (2019-24); NR says it is ‘currently assessing the impact of a new client instruction’, with a more detailed set of milestones to be published in a future EDP update.

DfT’s franchise documentation envisaged the new bi-mode trains entering service from 2022.