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.