Train travellers facing disruption to journeys

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PASSENGERS on the two main inter-city rail routes through Sheffield are to be hit by eight days of disruption as a section of the Midland Main Line is closed for eight days for £2.9m of engineering.

Tracks between Chesterfield and Derby are being closed between June 2 and 10, with services diverted.

Work will take place 24 hours a day through the Clay Cross Tunnel, where tracks are being re-laid.

There will also be track renewal work north of Derby.

The two operators which use the line - Sheffield to London operator East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry, which runs a service from Scotland and the north east to Birmingham and the south west - will run only half the usual number of trains.

East Midlands Trains said its fast service from Sheffield to London, which normally departs at 27 minutes past the hour, will run as normal but will not call at Derby.

But the second hourly service from Sheffield to London, which normally departs at either 35 or 47 minutes past the hour, will start and terminate at Derby - and not call at Chesterfield or Sheffield.

CrossCountry will run only one service an hour, instead of its normal two on the affected route, with extended journey times. But the company said it will add extra carriages to minimise overcrowding.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: “The line is being closed due to a full track re-lay through the Clay Cross Tunnel, which is one and a quarter miles long.

“At the moment there is a speed restriction through the tunnel which will be lifted once the work has been finished.

“We apologise for the disruption but this is an essential project. We have chosen a time which is as quiet as possible to carry out the work although we realise it will mean longer journeys for passengers.”

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, added: “These essential improvement works will upgrade the reliability of the infrastructure and improve passengers’ journeys.

“We are completing large amounts of work at the same time to minimise disruption.

“I apologise to anyone who is inconvenienced - we are doing everything possible.”

East Midlands Trains said it is offering special discounted fares over the Jubilee weekend on Sunday, June 3, Monday, June 4, and Tuesday, June 5, for people wanting to head to the celebrations in London.

Spokesman Marc Turley said: “Our special Jubilee discounted fare will help make sure people can bag a bargain.”

CrossCountry said its Scotland to the south west service will run hourly calling at Doncaster but not Leeds, then Sheffield and Chesterfield before running on a diversionary route.

The company’s service from Sheffield to Oxford and Reading via Birmingham will run from Derby.