Northampton Gateway

We started the New Year with a Zoom presentation on the new strategic railfreight terminal being developed at Northampton Gateway adjacent junction 15 of the M1 and the Northampton Loop of the West Coast Main Line. Taking us through the project was George Collinson, one of Network Rail’s sponsors for the North West & Central Region.


George joined Network Rail in 2016 as a graduate and has enjoyed a varied and interesting career to date including as sponsor on the landmark Old Oak Common station development in London. George has been a Network Rail sponsor for past 2 years, a role which involves managing stakeholders, building business cases, managing impacts of projects and being a point of accountability within the business. He has been involved in the Northampton Gateway project for the past six months, one of several projects he is currently engaged with.


Northampton Gateway will be served by both road and rail and its location means that 90% of the UK population can be reached by road within 4 hours. Initially the plan is for there to be 4 train paths per day to serve this new facility – a total of 8 paths (4 inbound/4 outbound). This will gradually increase to 8 trains per day with an aspiration to run up to 16 trains per day. Rail services are currently planned to start operating in the second quarter of 2024.


The three reception lines in the terminal will be able to accommodate 775-metre freight services with new connections to the Northampton Loop line both at the north and south ends. A computer simulated drivers eye view gave the audience a good sense of the approach into the terminal from the south.


George explained that there was still a lot of work to be delivered before rail services could begin. He took us through the next stages of the project including the installation of new crossovers, revisions to the current OLE as well as installation of new masts and signalling alterations. A blockade of the Northampton line is planned for 9 days in September 2023 to undertake the crossover installation with other works completed within existing planned blocks at weekends. Final commissioning is due to be undertaken at Easter 2024.


The presentation concluded with photos from the site showing current progress of works and track laying within the boundary of Northampton Gateway.


A thoroughly interesting and engaging presentation on this locally based project which was warmly received by the audience on Zoom. We will continue to watch progress on Northampton Gateway over the coming months.