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East Coast Main Line increases power supply with £216.2m contract

Engineer working on railway overhead line equipment

17 September 2020

The East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade will power forward into its second phase to enhance the East Coast network, bolstered by a £216.2m contract award for the Rail Electrification Alliance.

The Rail Electrification Alliance, comprised of VolkerRail, J Murphy & Sons, Jacobs, Systra, Siemens Mobility and Network Rail, is to continue its plans to upgrade the power capabilities of the East Coast Main Line between Doncaster to Edinburgh, as part of its ambitious plans to optimise one of the UK’s most popular passenger lines and reduce inefficiencies across the network.

The East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade Project, which has been five years in the making, is part the wider £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade programme. Once complete, the upgrade will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers, and will ensure the route has the electrical power capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.

Whilst the power infrastructure at the southern section of the route was upgraded in the last few years, similar work is now needed at the northern section, which this project will provide.

This enhancement will be funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) in conjunction with and in support of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) and will help deliver future timetable changes.

The Rail Electrification Alliance Board commented:

“The Power Supply Upgrade of the East Coast Main Line is a significant piece of work. We have been working together as an Alliance for the past five years and the team delivering the project have gone from strength to strength, continuing not only physical works during COVID-19 but also delivering a contract proposal which will secure the project for the next four years and deliver the power upgrades needed for the full route from London to Edinburgh.”

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said:

“The power supply upgrade is a vital element of the East Coast Upgrade programme. It will help deliver passenger benefits, enabling more trains to run and ensuring that journeys are reliable for passengers traveling on the route.”

 


 

More reliable services on the way for passengers on the East Coast Main Line linking London and Edinburgh

 

3 September 2020

Dates for key works on the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade have today been confirmed, with a programme aimed at delivering improvements for passengers as soon as possible.

Once complete, the upgrade will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers and will ensure the route has the capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.

A major part of the project is replacing tracks and a track layout, which is nearly 50 years old, on the 1.5-mile approach into London King’s Cross. This work requires the temporary closure of individual tracks and platforms at King’s Cross at different times over a three-month period.

This partial closure is scheduled to take place between Monday 1 March and Friday 4 June 2021. There are closures also planned for this year, at Christmas and over a number of weekends next year, including February 26, 27 and 28; April 23, 24, 25, and June 5 and 6.

It will mean that from 1 March to 4 June 2021, there will be temporary changes to LNER, Great Northern, Thameslink, Hull Trains and Grand Central services, with a slightly reduced peak service into and out of King’s Cross compared to current levels. Off-peak services will be less impacted, and passengers will be encouraged to travel at less busy times.

The King’s Cross work will include a re-design of the track layout and re-opening of a third tunnel closed in the 1970s, to create six tracks into the station instead of the current four. This will increase reliability and enable trains to arrive and leave the station more rapidly, helping to keep trains on time.

This essential work has been designed to minimise disruption for passengers by maintaining most services into and out of King’s Cross, while delivering improved reliability as quickly as possible.

Ahead of the work at King’s Cross, Network Rail is also building a new tunnel and 1.9 miles of new line at Werrington, north of Peterborough so that slower moving freight trains will no longer cut across the East Coast Main Line, helping to unlock capacity on the route. This will mean a nine-day period of disruption between 16 and 24 January 2021, with reduced long-distance services and longer journey times.

Train operators are working together to develop a dedicated timetable to support customers during this period, which will also reflect ongoing changes to travel demand due to COVID-19. Further details will be available in winter 2020.

A passenger awareness campaign will start in the coming weeks advising customers to plan ahead and check before travelling. The biggest impact will be on customers travelling at peak times, so passengers will be advised to travel outside of these times where possible or to seek alternative ways into and out of London.

Thameslink services to St Pancras International and Great Northern services to Moorgate will operate to a normal timetable, except during certain weekends when engineering work affects the wider area.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“The £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade programme is vital to improve the service on the railway for tens of thousands of passengers who travel on the line.

“We know these works will cause some disruption and inconvenience, and apologise to those affected, but we also know that this short-term pain will deliver long-term gain for passengers along the entire route.

“The King’s Cross work will cut congestion and speed up arrivals and departures every day, when it’s complete. And that’s why we are grateful to everyone for their patience while these vital works are done.”

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail said:

“The East Coast Upgrade is going to deliver massive benefits for reliability and train capacity for passengers – but we can’t deliver the work without some short-term disruption.

“Restricting access to such a key station is a tremendously complex job of planning and preparation and it’s a tribute to the industry that we have managed to schedule this work despite all the other pressures caused by the pandemic.

“We want to deliver this vital job with as little disruption as possible, but we know it’s going to have an impact on people going about their daily lives. I’m sorry about that, but I promise it will be worth it in the long run and I’d like to thank passengers for bearing with us while we work.”

David Horne, Managing Director of London North Eastern Railway (LNER) said:

“The East Coast Upgrade is an essential part of the long-term transformation of rail services, that will improve reliability for our passengers. We are working closely with other operators to minimise the impact of the disruption on customers as Network Rail delivers this vital project.”

Steve White, Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway said:

“We welcome this investment and are working closely with our partners at Network Rail, and other operators, to ensure our that customers can continue to travel during these essential works. The ambition is to ensure more trains run on time every day because we understand that performance is the highest priority for our customers.”

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus said:

“Passengers will welcome these improvements, but not the potential disruption to journeys needed to deliver them. The industry must work together so that throughout the works next year there are enough trains, of sufficient length, to allow for any social distancing that is required.

“We will work with the industry to help it ensure information is crystal clear and passengers know well in advance what the timetable is. The temporary timetable also needs to run reliably. Poor punctuality on top of a reduced timetable will not be welcome.”

 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the £1.2 billion upgrade has seen:

  • the completion of a new platform and track at Stevenage, a year ahead of revised schedule, restoring Great Northern weekday services between Stevenage and Hertford North at a new, higher frequency;
  • the continuation of work at Werrington north of Peterborough on a new tunnel and 1.9 mile of new track so that slower moving freight trains will no longer need to cross the East Coast Main Line, helping unlock capacity on the route;
  • ongoing work to renew and expand the tracks that serve King’s Cross, including reopening a third tunnel closed in the 1970s, so trains can more reliably enter and leave the station.

 


Current key dates for the upgrade work at King’s Cross:

(these are subject to change and passengers will be kept informed of any changes):

2020

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September

King’s Cross Station closed for work to platforms, tracks and the removal of lighting columns. People who need to travel to or from London are strongly advised to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator, and allow plenty of time for their journey. They may need to change trains and services are expected to be busier than normal.

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October

King’s Cross Station closed for work to signals and overhead lines. No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 November

Reduced service into King’s Cross Station to continue work on overhead lines and on signals

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November

King’s Cross Station closed for overhead line works. No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November

Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for work on track and overhead lines

Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve)

An amended timetable will be in place

Friday 25 and Saturday 26 December (Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

No services along the entire route

Sunday 27 through to Wednesday 30 December

No services to or from King’s Cross Station

Thursday 31 December through to Sunday 3 January

An amended timetable will operate

2021

A number of weekends in January will see an amended timetable into and out of London King’s Cross. We advise customers to check before they travel.

Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January

No services to or from King’s Cross Station, or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February

No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park.

Monday 1 March through to Friday 4 June

A temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating. At peak times such as between 8-9AM on weekdays, ten trains per hour will arrive at King’s Cross, two fewer than operate today, with a reduced impact at less busy times when fewer trains usually operate

Friday 23 through to Sunday 25 April

No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June

No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park.

 

Current key dates of engineering work between Peterborough and Grantham, and Peterborough and Stamford for work at Werrington

 

Saturday 16 January through to Sunday 24 January 2021

Limited services between Grantham and Peterborough, with many passengers needing to transfer to rail replacement services while work continues on a new section of railway at Werrington which will free up space for extra passenger services.

Three-day closure period in mid-2021

No services between Stamford and Peterborough, no services between Grantham and Peterborough on the second two days, with many passengers needing to transfer to rail replacement services to complete the new infrastructure at Werrington

 


 

No trains in or out of London King’s Cross over first weekend in September as vital work continues on £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade

 

17 August 2020

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are urging passengers not to travel to London King’s Cross on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September 2020, while vital work takes place in and around the station as part of the East Coast Upgrade, which will improve journeys for passengers.

Over the weekend, Network Rail engineers will be carrying out essential work towards the re-opening of a disused railway tunnel near King’s Cross, which will allow more trains to enter and exit the station. Work will also take place to renew the tracks to certain platforms, make improvements to the signalling at the station and strengthen Camden Sewer which runs beneath the tracks, bringing smoother journeys for passengers.

In order for this latest stage of work to be carried out safely, there will be no trains in or out of London King’s Cross over this weekend. People who need to travel to London from the north on the East Coast Main Line will need to change trains at Peterborough onto Thameslink services, which will run to St Pancras International on Saturday 5 September and to Finsbury Park on Sunday 6 September. Fast Great Northern services from Cambridge will also finish at Finsbury Park instead of King’s Cross, which will extend journey times.

Passengers are strongly advised to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator, and to allow plenty of time. All trains are expected to be busier than normal. Passengers travelling on LNER services must have a seat reservation, which can be made up to five minutes prior to departure.

People are also reminded that they must wear a face covering on public transport. However, some people are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties. Anyone who does not wear one and is not exempt could receive a £100 fine from the British Transport Police.

The £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment in the line in a generation. It will transform journeys on the East Coast Main Line and improve connectivity between London, the North and Scotland. Once complete, the upgrade will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers and will ensure the route has the capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said:

“This work which is taking place in and around King’s Cross station is an essential part of the East Coast Upgrade. It will allow further major improvements to take place, including the reopening of the railway tunnel, which will make space for more trains coming in and out of the station.

“We strongly advise passengers to avoid travelling to London King’s Cross over the first weekend in September, as they will need to change trains and services which are running may be busy. Those who do need to travel to London should check their journeys and allow plenty of time.

“We would like to thank passengers for their continued patience whilst vital work on the East Coast Upgrade is carried out and we apologise for any inconvenience. The project will bring improved services, faster journeys and a more reliable railway.”

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the route, said:

“This work is really important and a vital step towards more reliable, frequent and faster services for our passengers.

“We would like to thank people in advance for their patience and understanding whilst this part of the East Coast Upgrade is carried out. Passengers who need to travel to or from London should check how their journey will be affected by visiting EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk, National Rail Enquiries or checking with their train operator.”

 


 

Rail passengers see major service boost with new £40 million Stevenage station platform

 

3 August 2020

  • Dedicated fifth platform and track at Stevenage station will enable more frequent and reliable services
  • £40 million project, delivered over a year ahead of the revised schedule, will provide better connectivity with other destinations on the East Coast Main Line
  • Completion of the work marks an important milestone in the wider £1.2 billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh

Rail passengers now have more frequent and reliable services as well as better long-distance connections thanks to a new £40 million platform and track at Stevenage station, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced today Monday, 3 August. Construction work on the project has been accelerated and delivered more than a year ahead of the revised schedule.

On a visit to the station today where platform 5 was officially opened to the first weekday services, the Rail Minister hailed the completion of the project as an important milestone in the wider £1.2 billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh.

Work began in early 2019 to build a dedicated fifth platform where Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)’s Great Northern trains from the Hertford North line, known as the Hertford Loop, could terminate and then go back towards London creating space on the existing tracks for Thameslink trains and restoring the train service between Stevenage and the Hertford Loop served by buses since May 2019.

With the new platform and track separating the local Hertford Loop services from the longer distance mainline Great Northern, Thameslink and London North Eastern Railway trains, there will be better reliability.

The restored train service running between Stevenage’s new platform and the Hertford Loop will be an improved all-day, twice-hourly service between Stevenage and Hertford North, giving passengers from the loop better connections with the fast mainline services which stop at Stevenage.

Network Rail worked with GTR to accelerate the revised project which has been delivered over 12 months earlier than planned. The new platform includes a passenger lift and stairs to an extended station footbridge along with 2 waiting rooms, 3 sets of seating, a help point and ticket machine.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

Our ambition is not just to deliver more punctual journeys, but to deliver major projects punctually as well.

This new platform and track at Stevenage will mean more frequent and reliable services for passengers who use the line day in day out.

Thanks to the hard work of Network Rail and GTR who have worked tirelessly to accelerate the project, we have reached an important milestone in our ambitious £1.2 billion East Coast upgrade, which will bring improved connections, faster journeys, thousands of extra seats per day and more choice for passengers.

Paul Rutter, Network Rail Route Director, said:

This vital project to build a bay platform at Stevenage is part of a programme of investment that will allow additional services to run on the East Coast Main Line, bringing more choice, more seats and a more reliable railway for passengers.

It will also bring more resilient local services on the Hertford Loop, as trains will soon be able to terminate at Stevenage and then go back towards London.

We would like to thank passengers who have needed to use bus replacement services between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone, station users and people who live near the railway for their continued patience whilst this essential part of the East Coast upgrade was completed.

Steve White, GTR Chief Operating Officer, said:

The most recent independent customer satisfaction survey showed Great Northern as the most improved operator. This is more good news for our customers.

We have worked closely with Network Rail on this important project as part of the continuing transformation of our railway. This new, additional, platform will help us run services more punctually on both the Great Northern metro and mainline services.

The new platform also means that we can start running our Hertford services to and from Stevenage again giving our customers from that area fast, convenient, step-free connections at the station to Cambridge, London, Gatwick and Brighton.

The government’s £1.2 billion investment in the East Coast upgrade between 2014 and 2024 will improve passenger journeys, create capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, speed up journeys and improve reliability for passengers.

Major work is also taking place at King’s Cross and near Peterborough, where a new section of railway is being built at Werrington so trains, particularly freight, can get to and from the line to Spalding, freeing up space on the East Coast Main Line for extra passenger services.

The East Coast Main Line is also set to become Britain’s first mainline digital rail link with £350 million of new investment to install state-of-the-art electronic signalling designed to cut journey times and slash delays.

Conventional signalling will be replaced with a digital system that allows trains to talk to the track allowing the smooth the flow of trains, making journeys safer and reduce signal failures that every year result in thousands of hours of delays.


 

No trains in or out of London King’s Cross on June weekend as East Coast Upgrade work continues

4 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

 

14 October 2019

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.”

ADDITIONAL INFO:

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

 

27 August

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.


 

Trackside Tim

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

21st August

  • 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

22nd July

  • £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

1st July

 

  • 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

4th June

  • 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

17th April

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.