All the details


Along with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Thameslink, we are doing everything we can to mitigate the impact of these changes. Once complete in 2020, the Midland Main Line upgrade will provide greater capacity on the network and will enable future timetable improvements and more journey time benefits.

To make sure you’re informed of why, when and how these changes will affect you, we’ve laid out the details below.

What is the Thameslink programme?

Over £7 billion is being invested to transform north-south travel through London with the Thameslink programme. This will deliver new and more reliable trains with more services at peak times and improved connections on Thameslink services from Bedford to Farringdon, for Crossrail when it opens, as well as to London Bridge and further south. The Thameslink programme will run alongside the biggest upgrade of the Midland Main Line since it was completed in 1870. A brand new Thameslink timetable will be introduced from May 2018, representing one of the biggest timetable recasts in recent railway history.

In order for the new Thameslink timetable to work effectively, East Midlands Trains services have to be changed.

The Midland Main Line Upgrade

Unprecedented improvements have already started on the transformation of the Midland Main Line, which runs between London St Pancras, Nottingham and Sheffield – delivering the biggest upgrade of this line in almost 150 years.

This transformation has to happen as, although more trains are running than ever before, the increase in passengers is outstripping supply. Our network, stations and platforms are dealing with more passengers than they are designed for. To help meet the challenge of rising demand, the Midland Main Line is being improved. This will support better journeys from 2020 and the growth of the regional economies, connecting people to more job, education and leisure opportunities.

For long-distance journeys, this upgrade plans to reduce journey times between Nottingham, Sheffield and London by up to 20 minutes in peak times and support a brand new fleet of bi-mode trains from 2022, with more seats.

For journeys from Corby, through Luton and into London, the consultation on the next East Midlands franchise proposed that this upgrade enables passengers to benefit from a new and dedicated express service. From 2020, the trains would be fast and comfortable, like today, but also longer and quieter, with more seats and lower emissions.

Delivering these benefits requires upgrades including:

●  track realignment
●  station remodelling
●  platform construction and lengthening
●  capacity works
●  bridge reconstructions
●  signalling works and electric wires south of Kettering and Corby to power modern electric and bi-mode trains


How does this affect East Midlands Trains?

For the new Thameslink timetable to work effectively, stations on our London route will see a change, either big or small. What this means is that some departure times to and from London will change – with some journey times increasing and others decreasing.

Along with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Thameslink, we’re doing everything we can to lessen the impact of these changes.

Check our A-Z of changes to see how your station will be affected. Some stations will also experience significant changes, these include:


For passengers travelling between Bedford and Wellingborough, we’re providing a bus service that departs from the roundabout next to the station car park. The service will include air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and town centre stops.

If you’re an East Midlands Trains season ticket holder travelling to Bedford, you’ll be offered a discount of up to 50% and there will be up to a 25% reduction on anytime fares for travel on the bus . If you have already bought a season ticket for travel to Bedford, please contact to arrange your partial refund.

Discounts will automatically be applied to tickets bought after 20th May 2018.

Bedford and Luton

Southbound trains arriving at London St Pancras between 0700 and 1000 on weekdays and northbound trains departing from London St Pancras between 1600 and 1900 on weekdays will not call at Bedford or Luton.

Services will continue to call at Bedford and Luton outside the peak periods. Thameslink will be running regular services per hour between Bedford, Luton and London during peak times with fast services through to London St Pancras.

Find out more information about travelling to, through or from Bedford and Luton.