Market Harborough (MHR)

Market Harborough is a stop on the Midland Main Line in Leicestershire between Leicester and Kettering.
EMR 43 076 at the tail of a North bound HST

Type: National Rail (Midland Main Line)
Station code: MHR
Opened: 1850
Platforms: 2

The original station was opened by the London & North Western Railway in 1850 on it's line between Rugby and Stamford. The Midland Railway reached the station in 1857 on it's new line from Leicester to Bedford. This line was later rebuilt for a higher capacity (nowadays it is the Midland Main Line) in 1885 when the station was rebuilt  as a joint effort between the LNWR and MR in it's current position [1]. The LNWR built a branch from Market Harborough to Northampton in 1859, Market Harborough was by now a very busy junction with lines going in five directions! It also had three goods yards.

The current station building dates from this rebuild and is now Grade II listed. In the 1960s Market Harborough began to lose it's lines. The line to Rugby was closed in 1966 and the line to Northampton (by now freight only) in 1981. The station remains a stop on the busy Midland Main Line.

The station is being rebuilt to allow for faster speeds passing through the station (up from ninty seven to one hundred and thirty seven kilometres per hour [2], the new alignment was completed in the Summer of 2019. The platforms are also being extended. A new footbridge and extra car park spaces have also been built. One thing not happening at the moment is electrification. The planned Midland Main Line electrification has only reached as far as Ketting though there are new plans to extend to Market Harborough in the 2020s. The station is managed by East Midlands Railway.
Station building

New footbridge, which has lifts

View down the platform, rebuilding work is still ongoing at time of publishing

The platforms are on an embankment, reached via this covered walkway

An EMR HST prepares to depart

[1] Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith, Lines Around Stamford (Middleton Press, 2016) Fig. 1
[2] "New alignment opens at Market Harborough", Modern Railways (July 2019) p.22