Rail passengers see major service boost with new £40 million Stevenage station platform
No trains in or out of London King’s Cross on June weekend as East Coast Upgrade work continues
4th June 2020
- No trains in or out of London King’s Cross, and no Thameslink services will run via Finsbury Park, on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2020 so new overhead line equipment can be installed.
- Project is part of £1.2billion upgrade which will deliver more trains, thousands of extra seats and more reliable journeys between London, the north, and Scotland.
- Under current COVID-19 guidance, journeys should only be made if they are necessary, and those needing to travel should avoid using public transport wherever possible, with use of face coverings strongly encouraged where social distancing is not possible.
Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are urging passengers not to travel to or from London King’s Cross or on Thameslink services via Finsbury Park on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June as the next stage of planned work on the huge East Coast Upgrade continues.
The installation of new overhead line equipment over the affected weekend is the latest stage of the project which will eventually see a disused railway tunnel leading to King’s Cross reopened, allowing additional tracks to be laid so more trains can enter and exit the station. When combined with upgrades elsewhere on the route, the East Coast Upgrade will also deliver capacity for operators to run more trains, adding an extra 10,000 seats every day, and quicker, more reliable journeys between London, the north and Scotland.
Safety is Network Rail’s top priority and so the station will need to be closed to train services for this short period. All the work is being done under strict guidelines, in accordance with social distancing rules.
On LNER services, rail replacement buses will operate between St Neots and Bedford where those still travelling can take Thameslink services into London. On the Govia Thameslink Railway network, no Great Northern or Thameslink services will run on the East Coast Main Line into King’s Cross, St Pancras or Moorgate. Rail replacement buses will operate from Potters Bar and New Barnet to stations on the Bedford to St Pancras route and to London Underground stations for onward connections into London.
Under the current COVID-19 guidance, people are being asked to consider whether their journey is necessary and are being encouraged to stay local. Those who cannot work from home and need to travel should avoid public transport where possible. Those who have to travel by train on the affected weekend should check their journey ahead of time via EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk, National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The COVID-19 crisis continues to bring significant challenges for the railway, however we are working day and night to keep the railway running reliably and safely and to carry out essential work.
“On Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June, we will continue with a vital project to upgrade the East Coast Main Line in a £1.2billion investment. We’ve changed our working methods on site to make sure we can follow Public Health Guidelines and carry on with this project which will bring significant benefits for passengers.
“We’d like to remind everyone that they should only be making journeys that are necessary, but if you do need to travel, please seek alternative travel arrangements. Bus replacement services will be in place, but these will take significantly longer than usual.”
Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris said: “With capacity on our railways significantly reduced due to COVID-19, it is important that people work from home if they can, stagger their travel times to avoid crowds, and use other forms of transport wherever possible.
“For those people who do have to travel, we understand this closure will cause significant disruption to their journeys over the weekend. However, this work is the next stage of the vital East Coast upgrade which will deliver more trains, thousands more seats for long distance passengers and more reliable journeys in the future.”
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the route, said: “We appreciate any engineering work can cause inconvenience, but this work is really important to make sure we have a railway which can meet the needs of communities and economies along the route for the long term. We thank our passengers in advance for their understanding and flexibility.
“The work will mean more reliable, more frequent and faster services with more seats, improving travel for our passengers. We’d urge passengers to continue to follow the Government advice to only travel when necessary, and to avoid use of public transport where possible at this time. If you have to travel please check how your journey will be affected by visiting EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk, National Rail Enquiries or check with your specific train operator.”
Dates announced for next major stages of East Coast Upgrade and passengers urged to plan ahead
Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line have today (Monday, 14 October) announced the next set of dates which will see major improvement work take place as part of the East Coast Upgrade, including two weekends when there will be no trains to or from London King’s Cross.
As the £1.2billion investment programme ramps up, passengers are being urged to plan ahead and check before travelling as there will be changes to services next year. On Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 January and Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1 March no trains will be able to call at London King’s Cross, with passengers urged not to travel to and from London on the East Coast Main Line to either King’s Cross, St Pancras or Moorgate, including the Hertford North line.
During this time, Network Rail will continue with vital work to construct an additional platform and install new track at Stevenage station. Work will also take place to upgrade the power supply and overhead line equipment in and around King’s Cross station and engineers will continue to relocate the signalling system to a state-of-the-art centre in York. This work can only be carried out safely when no trains are running on this section of the railway.
There will also be five weekends of a reduced service on the East Coast Main Line, with passengers along the route urged to check before travelling and to allow additional time for their journey. These dates are:
- Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 January
- Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January
- Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January
- Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February
- Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February
Services which do run on the above dates are likely to be very busy and passengers are advised to reserve a ticket for their journey where possible. These weekends of work are vital to allow work to progress on upgrading the key rail route, which carries over 20 million passengers every year and links London to Edinburgh via Peterborough, York and Newcastle.
Network Rail engineers will also be carrying out maintenance work which will affect passengers using services on the Welwyn Garden City and Hertford North lines to and from Moorgate. This will take place on on Saturday, 1 and Sunday, 2 February and Saturday, 22 and Sunday, 23 February, with those who use this route urged to check before they travel.
The upgrade is the biggest improvement into the line in a generation and will bring widespread and long-lasting benefits for passengers, including more frequent services and provide an extra 10,000 seats a day for travellers. It will also deliver faster journey times and improve the reliability of services when complete.
Network Rail and train operators on the route are working hard to minimise disruption by giving passengers plenty of notice ahead of the work. Good progress was made on the upgrade during the first major planned closure of the route in 20 years over the August Bank Holiday weekend but further changes to services are needed to allow the upgrade to progress.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Firstly, we would like to thank passengers for their patience so far and ask them to bear with us while the next stages of work take place.
“We’re really sorry for the disruption this work will cause, but the East Coast Main Line is long overdue an upgrade. We’re working to provide more seats and more frequent, reliable and faster journeys for the millions of people who use the line every year – and we can’t do that without causing some disruption.
“We’re doing our very best to keep passengers moving while the work is underway, but anyone using the line at weekends over the next couple of months should check before travelling.”
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators along the route said: “To allow the East Coast Upgrade to progress, there will be changes to services throughout 2020. Details of the dates from March onwards will be available at a later date.
“Passengers are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance and check before travelling via eastcoastupgrade.co.uk. Passengers should avoid travelling to or from London on the East Coast Main Line over the two weekends of significant disruption, as there will be no train services in or out of London King’s Cross or Moorgate.
“We would like to thank passengers for their patience as we work with Network Rail to bring improved services with faster journey times and more seats.”
There will be no services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, then a reduced service at King’s Cross on Friday, 27 December. Platforms 0-6 will be closed until 13.00, then a normal Saturday service will run until the end of the day.
Network Rail and train operators thank passengers as full train service resumes on East Coast Main Line
Network Rail and train operators along the East Coast Main Line have today (Tuesday, 27 August) thanked passengers for their patience and understanding as major work took place over the Bank Holiday weekend. A full train service on the East Coast Main Line has now resumed.
On Saturday, 24 and Sunday, 25 August, Network Rail engineers worked round the clock to upgrade signalling between King’s Cross station, Cambridge and Peterborough. This phase of work has now completed and has created a more reliable railway which is more resilient in times of disruption. Engineers also carried out work to overhead power lines in readiness for improvements to the track layout and the power supply, which will take place at a later stage of the £1.2billion investment. Network Rail workers also made good progress on a major project to install a new platform at Stevenage station.
Work to renew a level crossing in Newark continued on Monday, 26 August meaning that a reduced service ran. This work has also now completed and will mean passengers will benefit from a more reliable railway and reduce the number of times maintenance at the crossing needs to be carried out.
Network Rail and train operators worked together to keep passengers informed of the changes to services. The rail industry put on buses for passengers and Network Rail arranged for a relief train to run between Chesterfield and York on Sunday. when crowding was expected to be the worst. This was done to minimise disruption for passengers.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Our engineers carried out a huge amount of work over the last three days and I would like to take this opportunity to thank travellers for their patience whilst this vital work took place and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“A full train service has now resumed following work on the East Coast Upgrade, which is a huge investment into the railway and will bring significant benefits for all users of the route. Such significant upgrades do bring some unavoidable disruption and we do understand that this can be frustrating. We will continue to plan this work meticulously and do as much work as possible without affecting passengers, and when this is not possible, make sure we carry out multiple improvements at the same time.”
A spokesperson for train operators along the route said: “We are working closely with Network Rail on the East Coast Upgrade and we would like to express how grateful we are to passengers for their patience and understanding. A full service has now resumed and we will continue to work collaboratively as a rail industry to keep disruption to a minimum.”
Further closures are planned from early 2020 and Network Rail and train operators will keep passengers informed.
Here is our senior project manager Tim Walden, a.k.a. Trackside Tim, talking about the £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade.
(Pictured: New flat crossing ready to be put in place near Newark Northgate station)
Final reminder for passengers as major work takes place on East Coast Main Line this August Bank Holiday
- Significant disruption to journeys to/from London this August Bank Holiday weekend
- On 24/25 August, no trains will run between Peterborough and London King’s Cross or Cambridge and London St Pancras International
- Work is part of East Coast Upgrade, which is a £1.2billion investment into the route
Network Rail and train operators are reminding passengers of significant disruption to journeys this August Bank Holiday weekend with travellers urged not to travel to/from London on 24/25 August.
There will be major changes to services as vital work takes place at the southern end of the historic route as part of the East Coast Upgrade. The lines between Peterborough and King’s Cross and Cambridge and London St Pancras International will be closed for the first time in two decades, meaning no trains are able to run on this portion of the railway. This includes the Moorgate line via Hertford North.
Passengers are urged not to travel on 24/25 August as there will be significant disruption whilst work takes place at Stevenage, Newark and King’s Cross station. Instead, passengers are advised to travel on either Friday, 23 or Tuesday, 27 August. Work at Newark will continue on Monday, 26 August, when a heavily reduced service will be in place, meaning services will be incredibly busy.
If passengers must travel on 24/25, they are advised to plan ahead and allow additional time for their journey as travel times will be extended and they will need to change trains or use bus replacement services, both of which will be incredibly busy. The work has been carefully coordinated to limit disruption to passengers, which is why multiple pieces of work are taking place at the same time.
The East Coast Upgrade is a vital £1.2billion investment into the railway, which will bring significant benefits for passengers once completed. This includes faster and more reliable journeys, more seats and more frequent services, transforming travel along the route.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We are reminding passengers that there will be significant disruption to journeys on the East Coast Main Line this Bank Holiday weekend, with customers urged not to travel on 24/25 August.
“If this is not possible, we are urging passengers to be prepared and to allow additional time for their journey. We understand that this work is disruptive and we are sorry for that, however this is vital work which will improve the railway and provide benefits for passengers in the long run. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who are impacted for their patience.”
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the East Coast Main Line, said: “There will be major disruption to services on the East Coast Main Line over the Bank Holiday as Network Rail works on a £1.2billion investment into the line.
“Passengers are urged not to travel on 24/25 August whilst the work takes place. Other routes into London will be open, but will be significantly busier than usual, so passengers are urged not to travel if possible.”
There will also be industrial action affecting CrossCountry services on Sunday, 26 August. Anyone who is travelling with CrossCountry is strongly advised to travel on another date. Details of what services are running together with information on other days people can travel are available on CrossCountry’s website.
Rail industry issues reminder to passengers as first planned closure of East Coast Main Line in 20 years is fast approaching
- £1.2billion investment will see first closure of East Coast Main Line in 20 years
- Passengers warned of significant changes to services and extremely busy trains
- Services to and from London most heavily impacted as line closure between Peterborough/Cambridge and London King’s Cross/London St Pancras International
Network Rail and train operators are reminding passengers of major changes to services this August Bank Holiday as work takes place as part of a £1.2billion upgrade to the route.
In just over a month, work will take place along the southern end of the historic route, including in Newark, Stevenage and around London King’s Cross station. This work will close the lines from Peterborough and Cambridge into London King’s Cross and London St Pancras International meaning no trains will run on this portion of the line.
Passengers are being reminded that there will be significant disruption and are urged not to travel on services which start or terminate in the capital on 24/25 August. Instead, the advice is to travel on either Friday, 23 or Tuesday, 27 August. There will be a heavily reduced service on Monday, 26 August as work at Newark continues, with trains expected to be extremely busy.
If passengers are unable to bring forward or delay their journey, they are being urged to plan ahead and allow additional time for their journey as there will be no direct services to/from London. Instead, they will need to use bus replacement services and/or change trains. Bus replacement services and trains on other routes to/from London and expected to be incredibly busy.
The East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment into the line in a generation and will bring significant benefits for all users of the route, including quicker journeys which are more reliable and up to an extra 10,000 seats per day. It will also mean more services able to run, increasing choice for passengers. Over the August Bank Holiday, a huge amount of work will take place, including:
- At London King’s Cross, Network Rail will transfer control of signalling equipment from King’s Cross signal box to a state-of-the-art facility in York. This will create a more modern and reliable railway, which is more resilient in times of disruption. We will also carry out work on the overhead line equipment outside of the station to support improvements to the power supply, track layout and signals.
- In Stevenage, work will continue on a major project to construct an additional platform to support increased services along the route.
- Network Rail is renewing a level crossing in Newark which is of unique design and historically, has had to be renewed every 15-20 years. Engineers will replace timbers with a more durable material, which will provide a more reliable railway and greatly reduce the amount of times we need to carry out work in the future.
The work over the bank holiday has been carefully planned to limit disruption to passengers, including doing as much work as possible in this period to minimise any future closures. Network Rail has been working behind the scenes for over a year without disrupting passengers, however as the programme ramps up, there will be times when unfortunately, this is not possible.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Major work to upgrade the East Coast Main Line will mean significant changes to services this August Bank Holiday weekend.
“We are urging passengers not to travel on 24/25 August as there will be significant disruption, however if they absolutely must travel we would urge them to plan ahead as services will be extremely busy, you will need to change trains or use a bus replacement service and your journey will take longer.
“We appreciate that this will impact on people, however this work is absolutely vital to make sure we continue to provide a railway which is fit for purpose and this upgrade will bring significant benefits to passengers once completed.”
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators along the route said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind passengers of significant disruption to rail journeys over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend as Network Rail continues work on a £1.2billion investment into the line.
“The work means no train services are able to run between Peterborough and London King’s Cross, Cambridge and London St Pancras International and between Stevenage and Moorgate via Hertford North, so passengers are urged not to travel if possible.
“Other routes into London will operate but will be extremely busy. Once completed, the project will enable quicker and more reliable journeys, more frequent services and additional seats.”
Reduced service on East Coast Main Line as work on major railway upgrade continues
- Passengers urged to check before travelling as there is a reduced service on the East Coast Main Line on 13/14 July
- Work is part of a major revamp of the line and is a key stage in reopening a disused railway tunnel
- The East Coast Upgrade will bring significant benefits for passengers
Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line to and from London King’s Cross are urging passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel as work takes place on the weekend of 13/14 July.
As part of a £1.2billion upgrade into the route, Network Rail engineers will work to remove old signalling equipment from a disused railway tunnel at King’s Cross station. The signalling equipment needs to be removed so that new track can be laid in the tunnel. The tunnel will eventually reopen, which will increase the number of tracks into King’s Cross station from four to six, helping to increase capacity on the East Coast Main Line.
Work is also taking place elsewhere along the route to keep the number of times which passengers are disrupted as little as possible. To allow all of this take place safely, a reduced service will run on the Anglo-Scottish route on 13/14 July. Passengers are strongly urged to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, with their train operator or on http://eastcoastupgrade.co.uk/. Services that are running are likely to be busier than usual and long-distance customers are advised to reserve a seat.
The work is part of the East Coast Upgrade which is the biggest investment into the route in a generation and will complete in 2021. The work will provide significant benefits for passengers, including more seats, quicker journey times and a more reliable service.
Work on the upgrade will be taking place over the coming years, with significant work taking place this August Bank Holiday between Peterborough and Cambridge and King’s Cross, St Pancras and Moorgate. This also includes the Hertford North Line. Passengers using services which start or terminate in the capital are strongly advised not to travel on 24/25 August and to instead travel on Friday, 23 or Tuesday, 27 August.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “As work on the East Coast Main Line ramps up, it is really important that passengers check before travelling.
“This is the biggest upgrade to the line in a generation and projects on this scale inevitably bring some disruption. We don’t want anyone to be disappointed, so we would urge passengers to plan ahead”.
“This work is vital and will bring long term benefits for all users of the route, including more seats and faster and more reliable journeys. These improvements will enable us to continue to provide a service which meets the needs of the passengers, communities and economies we serve.”
Major improvement work on East Coast Main Line to deliver long-term benefits for passengers
- Biggest revamp of East Coast Main Line in a generation, with first major line closure in 20 years
- Long-term benefits for passengers to include extra capacity, faster services and increased reliability
- Passengers advised to plan ahead for significant disruption
The biggest upgrade of the East Coast Main Line in a generation will see the first major closure of the route in 20 years this summer.
The £1.2bn upgrade plan is set to create capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, see faster journeys and improve reliability for passengers.
Early route improvement work has already taken place, but the first major engineering upgrade will mean no trains are able to travel between Peterborough or Cambridge and London King’s Cross or London St Pancras International during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “We are delivering the biggest upgrade to the East Coast Main Line in a generation to bring huge benefits for passengers – including additional seats, quicker journeys and a more reliable service.
“We know this work will have an impact on people who use the line – we’re doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, but passengers will need to plan ahead and check before they travel.
“Once completed, this upgrade will improve journeys and ensure we can continue to provide a service which meets the needs of the passengers, communities and economies we serve.”
Once complete, the improvements will mean additional services for passengers travelling on the route, improving choice and reducing congestion for travellers. The work will also reduce journey times, meaning passengers can spend less time on the train and more time with friends and family.
The engineering projects along the line will bring increased reliability and fewer delays for all passengers, including the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use the line to commute into the capital.
As well as the August Bank Holiday closure, there will be a slightly reduced service on the weekend of 13/14 July for work to be carried out to remove signalling equipment from a disused railway tunnel ahead of laying new track. It will eventually increase the number of tracks into King’s Cross station from four to six.
Over the Bank Holiday Weekend, major work is taking place between Peterborough and London King’s Cross, as well as a track renewal in Newark. Passengers using services which start or terminate in the capital are strongly advised not to travel on 24/25 August and to instead travel on Friday, 23 or Tuesday, 27. Work at Newark will continue on Monday, 26 August which means a reduced train service will run.
Passengers can see how their journey will be affected by visiting http://eastcoastupgrade.co.uk/. The rail industry is working together to keep passenger disruption to a minimum by carrying out work at multiple locations along the route at the same time.
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators along the route said: “Passengers are strongly recommended to plan their journeys well in advance of the August Bank Holiday weekend. Customers should avoid travelling to or from London King’s Cross, or between Cambridge and London St Pancras, on the Saturday and Sunday. Other routes into the capital will remain available, but could be significantly busier than normal.
“New trains are going into service on the route, and new trains need new infrastructure. This is essential work that will allow more trains to run and provide quicker journeys on long-distance services.”
Passengers advised to check before they travel as East Coast Main Line investment programme ramps up
Passengers using the East Coast Main Line which links Scotland, the north east of England and London King’s Cross, are being advised to plan ahead as investment in the line will affect services during 13/14 July and August bank holiday.
Outside King’s Cross station work is underway to re-lay 1.5miles of track in a simpler layout and increase the number of tracks into the station from four to six by reopening a disused route through a railway tunnel. The project will also upgrade the signalling system and overhead line equipment.
During the weekend of 13/14 July, Network Rail engineers will remove old signalling cables from the disused railway tunnel in preparation for laying new track, which will take place later this year. During this work the signalling which controls train movements will be out of service on some of the platforms which means a reduced service will run.
A dedicated website giving the most up to date passenger information has been developed. This can be found at https://eastcoastupgrade.co.uk
The work is part of the East Coast Main Line Upgrade which, once complete, will enable two more long distance trains to run each hour and reduce journey times. The rail industry is working to package the projects which are underway at several locations on the line together to reduce the number of times that passengers are disrupted and allow them to plan their journeys with confidence.
The other significant planned disruption on the East Coast Main Line this year will be during the August bank holiday weekend. Work will take place at various sites between Peterborough and King’s Cross and a complex track layout at Newark will be renewed. This will result in significant disruption affecting the full length of the East Coast Main Line. The train operators who serve London on the route are advising passengers not to travel on 24 and 25 August. Work at Newark will continue on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August, with a reduced train service running and operators are advising passengers to travel either Friday or Tuesday if possible.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform rail travel for the millions of people who use the East Coast Main Line every year.
“A project on this scale does inevitably bring disruption and we would like to reassure passengers that we are doing all we can to keep this to a minimum; this includes working incredibly closely with train operators to keep passengers informed of the changes to services.
“Once completed, the East Coast Main Line Upgrade will ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of the communities and economies that our railway serves.”
LNER Safety and Operations Director Warrick Dent said: “Our new Azuma trains will be introduced from next month, and with new trains we need new infrastructure, therefore by upgrading the approach to King’s Cross we will unlock the full journey benefits of the fleet – delivering more trains and quicker journeys.
“We are working closely with Network Rail and the other operators to ensure that our customers are inconvenienced as little as possible throughout this key route upgrade.
“LNER customers, across our entire route, are strongly advised not to travel on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August; and we recommend that they travel Friday and Tuesday, booking a reservation to guarantee a seat, where possible.”
GTR’s Infrastructure Director Keith Jipps said: “We welcome the benefits to our passengers that these investments will bring, and we will work closely with Network Rail to limit the inevitable short-term disruption while the work is carried out.
“There will be a reduced service on 13-14 July but the biggest impact will be on 24 and 25 August when passengers are advised not to travel. More information will be made available closer to the date.”
Tom MacLaclan, Commercial and Customer Experience Director at Hull Trains, said: “The essential upgrade works taking place at King’s Cross will enable greater capacity and better reliability for our services and while there will be some changes while the works take place, ultimately, we are delighted that these works will have a positive impact on our customers. The Hull Trains team will be working hard to make sure we continue to connect Hull and East Yorkshire with London throughout this period.
“During this time, we will keep our customers up to date with any changes to their service via the on-board team, on our brand-new website and on social media.”
Richard McClean, Managing Director at Grand Central, said: “As the long-distance passenger champion for overall satisfaction, we know that reliability, affordability and travel experience are key for our customers.
“We welcome this crucial investment in the East Coast Main Line, which will ultimately deliver more and better services and journeys for our passengers and complements our ongoing £9million train refurbishment programme.
“We will be working with Network Rail and other partners to do everything we can to keep our customers informed and keep disruption to a minimum.”
Further, longer packages of work are still being planned by the industry. These will be advertised well in advance to enable passengers to plan ahead.