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Kettering railway station is to the south-west of the Ketteringmarker town centre in Northamptonshiremarker, Englandmarker. It lies on the Midland Main Line, 115 km (72 miles) north of London St. Pancrasmarker and is served primarily by slower East Midlands Trains Class 222 "Meridian" services, with HST services at peak times.

Through-fares were made available from 68 UK towns and cities to Paris, Brussels and other destinations in France and Belgium in late 2007, which must be booked through Eurostar.

Being relatively close to London, the frequency of trains to the capital in the morning and evening peak is excellent for commuting, with a train running (occasionally non stop) every twenty minutes with the quickest journeys taking forty-five minutes.

History

The station was opened in May 1857 by the Midland Railway on a line linking the Midland to the Great Northern Railway at Hitchinmarker. (Later the Midland gained its own London terminus at St Pancras railway stationmarker)

It was designed by C H Driver, with particularly fine "pierced grill" cast ironwork on the platforms. Although it was altered between 1879 and 1884 when the line was quadrupled and again in 1896, it is one of best remaining examples of Midland architecture.

At the time, the leather trade being in recession, over half of its population was on poor relief. The railway enabled the town to sell its products over a much wider area and restored it to prosperity.

In the 1970s the glass canopies became a maintenance headache for British Rail, who proposed to remove the tops of the cast iron columns and replace the glass canopies with plastic sheeting. Kettering Civic Society objected to the plans and the canopies and columns were reprieved, later to be sympathetically restored by Railtrack in 2000.

Services

There is a half-hourly service to London St. Pancrasmarker and to Nottinghammarker via Leicestermarker or Corbymarker both operated by modern Meridian trains. In the morning and evening services are extended to Lincolnmarker via Newarkmarker and Melton Mowbraymarker via Corbymarker.

Faster East Midlands Trains services to/from Leedsmarker, Sheffieldmarker, Nottinghammarker and Derbymarker run through at high speed, but do not stop. Interchange with faster services can be made at Leicestermarker and St Pancras.

The weekend sees trains operating to Yorkmarker and in the summer months there are also weekend trains to Scarboroughmarker. EMT plan to run a through service (possibly around 2010) to Skegnessmarker, although this depends on when Network Rail have completed track upgrade works.

Corby

Just to the north of Kettering is the junction for the Oakham to Kettering Linemarker, which leads through Corbymarker to Manton Junction where it joins the Leicester to Peterborough Line. This historically provided an alternative route for expresses to Nottinghammarker via Old Dalbymarker.

Passenger services were withdrawn from this line in the 1960s, though it remains open for freight. In 1987 Network South East experimentally introduced a shuttle service between Kettering and a new stationmarker in the nearby town of Corby. The service was however withdrawn a few years later. Corby is often quoted as being the largest town in western Europe with no rail station. East Midlands Trains, and Midland Mainline before them, are committed through their franchise to run a shuttle bus from Corby to Kettering station. Occasionally the line is used as a diversionary route when the route between Kettering and Leicestermarker is closed for whatever reason.

The new station at Corby was originally planned to open in December 2008, however this has been put back until extra trains have been acquired. opened on 23 February 2009, initially served by one return train to London St Pancras per day, operated by East Midlands Trains. Full service, with 13 daily returns to London, started on 27 April 2009. The service provides one train each hour calling at Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton and St Pancras; with a minimum journey time from Corby to London of 1 hour and 14 minutes. One of the train pairs is extended North of Corby to Oakham.

Facilities

Kettering is a staffed station, who are present during operational hours (05:00-00:30), and is locked and inaccessible during non operational times (01:00-04:30). The station is monitored via CCTV cameras which are monitored locally and at the town council offices.
  • Lifts to all platforms.
  • Large pay and display car park (currently 2007 - £6.50 per day).
  • Waiting rooms on all platforms. Platform 4 has a very nice painting of a girl looking into a box, artist unknown till present.
  • Pumpkin Cafe.
  • Accessible toilet and Baby change.
  • Corby bus link (connecting with all arrivals).
  • FastTicket machine
  • Food Vending machines.
  • Payphones.
  • Taxis.


The station has the PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving.

Destinations

Major urban centres

Many of the UK's major cities can be reached with one or two changes. Many continental cities can be reached via one change at St Pancras International.

The following places can be reached directly from Kettering (Journey times approximate)

The following places are only reached directly from Kettering at certain times:
  • Doncastermarker - 1 hour 45 mins (Evenings)
  • Wakefieldmarker - 1 hour 55 mins (Evenings)
  • Leedsmarker - 2 hours 15 mins (Peak times)
  • Yorkmarker - 2 hours 30 mins (1 journey each way - weekends only)


The following places can be reached from Kettering by changing once (Journey times approximate)

Passengers are able to travel to Parismarker and Brusselsmarker by changing at St Pancras Int. East Midlands Trains,have said they will introduce earlier journeys to London to allow passengers to arrive in Paris or Brussels before 9am.

Local important centres

The following places can be reached directly from Kettering (Journey times approximate)
The following places can be reached from Kettering by changing once (Journey times approximate)

Tickets

The ticket office is open to retail all rail products for any journey from 06:00 until 20:30 Monday to Sunday, at all other times a vending machine is accessible to issue tickets for that day.

References

  1. Radford, B., (1983) Midland Line Memories: a Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line Between London (St Pancras) & Derby London: Bloomsbury Books


External links


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