Rail passengers in Leicester will be travelling on a more efficient and reliable railway after Network Rail replaces systems used to control trains on the route over the New Year.
The project will allow 90 miles of railway around Leicester to be controlled from two new desks in the East Midlands Control Centre at Derby.
To allow engineers to test the system and bring it online safely it is necessary to reduce train services over the New Year.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “This work is to move control of the railway around Leicester into our state of the art centre at Derby. It is the first phase of a multi-million pound project which will provide passengers with a more reliable and efficient railway around Leicester.
“Passengers who buy a rail ticket have the right to expect to travel by rail so we are very pleased that, working in partnership with East Midlands Trains, the overall effect on passengers of our improvement work is much lower than in previous years.”
From 19:30 on Saturday 31 December to Monday 2 January, East Midlands Trains will not run direct services will run to London.
Services during this period will operate between London and Bedford, and between East Midlands Parkway and Sheffield, calling at Derby and Chesterfield. A service will also run between East Midlands Parkway and Nottingham. Rail replacement buses will run between Bedford and East Midlands Parkway.
Passengers travelling between Sheffield and London are advised to use East Coast services from Doncaster to London Kings Cross.
David Horne, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We are working closely with Network Rail to minimise the disruption our customers will face as a result of the engineering work being carried out over the New Year.
“This year, we have been able to reduce drastically the number of people who will have to get on to a replacement bus. Our focus throughout the festive period is to provide the best possible services to passengers, and accurate information concerning the changes we have made.”