Media

That’s King’s Uncrossed! Network Rail completes once-in-a-generation scheme at King’s Cross

[from left to right] Andy Mellors, Managing Director of non-franchised rail businesses, First Group; Tom Moran, Managing Director, Great Northern & Thameslink; Rob McIntosh, Managing Director Eastern Region, Network Rail; Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State for Transport; David Horne, Managing Director, LNER and Richard McClean, Managing Director, Grand Central.

7 June 2021

  • Key element of £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade now in place
  • Work allows more trains to enter and exit the station – reducing congestion and bringing more reliable journeys for passengers
  • Improved services begin from Monday 7 June

A multi-million pound, once-in-a-generation improvement scheme designed to future proof London King’s Cross station and radically improve services for passengers completed today (Monday 7 June 2021).

The scheme involved a wholesale replacement of the over 40-year-old tracks with an improved, simplified layout on the 1.5-mile approach into the station as part of the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade.

It has previously seen saw the reopening of a disused tunnel after 44 years to add two additional lines into the station.

The complex and challenging programme has seen the replacement of:

  • Over 6km of new track
  • Over 30 new sets of points
  • Over 50 new signals
  • Over 20km of new overhead wires

At the same time as the King’s Cross work, Network Rail engineers have been continuing work on 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 new tunnel is due to open in the Autumn.

They are also improving the power supply on the East Coast Main Line to enable faster, quieter and more environmentally friendly electric trains to run.

Taken together, these upgrades will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers, as well as ensuring the route has the capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“This is an amazing achievement and a huge step in the extensive £1.2bn upgrade of the East Coast Main Line, which will better connect the country North to South.”

Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail’s Eastern region said:

“This is day to remember for everyone involved in this mammoth undertaking – they should all be extremely proud of what they’ve achieved.

“To complete such an ambitious scheme that will bring so many important benefits to passengers, whilst at the same time working hard to keep disruption to a minimum, is testament to the dedication and teamwork of the many different professionals who have worked on it.

“I want to put on record my thanks to all our industry partners, including those operators who, while not directly impacted by the King’s Cross work, have helped to ensure our passenger handling plans were thorough and were able to deal with all eventualities. This has been a truly fantastic example of cross industry working.

“Finally, I want to say a big thank you to our passengers for their patience and understanding, especially during those periods when it was necessary to close the station or reduce services.”

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said:

“The completion of the East Coast Upgrade programme will allow us to continue our transformation of the LNER route. We are very grateful for the patience and understanding of customers while the work has been carried out over the past two years. I would also like to thank Network Rail and other industry partners for their hard work ensuring the successful delivery of the project. 

“We are looking forward to bringing the significant benefits of the East Coast Upgrade to our customers and communities, transforming rail services with faster, more frequent and more reliable train journeys between London, the north of England and Scotland.

Tom Moran, Managing Director of Thameslink and Great Northern, said:

“I am delighted that passengers can now reap the benefits of this massive upgrade several months earlier than originally planned. The rail industry has worked together to complete these works during the national lockdown when fewer passengers were travelling and, as a result, King’s Cross will now be fully open just as we welcome more and more customers back to rail.”

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of Transport Focus, said:

“Passengers tell us that they like to know in advance when works will be taking place, so they can plan around it.

“We were pleased to work with Network Rail and train operators throughout the planning stages of the East Coast Upgrade. We stressed the importance of putting passenger needs at the heart of the engineering arrangements. The final plans delivered as many journeys as possible, included replacement services and had detailed communications to keep passengers informed.”


Network Rail reaches final weekend of work on King’s Cross transformation – passengers reminded to check their journeys

1 June 2021

  • Network Rail continues to simplify track layout at London King’s Cross during main stage of £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade
  • No trains to/from London King’s Cross on the afternoon of Friday 4, and all day on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June
  • Work will allow more trains to enter and exit the station – reducing congestion and bringing more reliable journeys for passengers
  • Full service resumes on Monday 7 June but anyone travelling should aim to do so safely and plan their journey in advance

Network Rail is reminding passengers to check their journeys ahead of a full closure of London King’s Cross station between the afternoon on Friday 4 June and the early hours of Monday 7 June.

Engineers are putting the finishing touches to a multi-million pound, once-in-a-generation project to transform the track layout at London King’s Cross, making it more practical for trains and bring more reliable journeys for passengers. The work is a critical part of the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade.

Network Rail has replaced track, overhead lines and signalling; simplified the tracks on the approach to the station and reopened a disused tunnel after 44 years to increase capacity in and out of the station from four to six tracks.

In total the project has involved the installation of:

  • Over 6km of new track
  • Over 30 new sets of points
  • Over 50 new signals
  • Over 20km of new overhead wires

A major milestone was reached last month when platforms 0-6 reopened and work began on platforms 7-11. The final phase of work over the weekend in June involves completing the refurbishment of platforms 7-11 and carrying out further upgrades to the station’s signalling system.

At the same time, vital work will also be carried out on a project to build a dive-under at Werrington, North of Peterborough, which will allow slower moving freight trains to run underneath the East Coast Main Line.

In order for all of this work to take place safely, the following changes will be in place:

Friday 4 June

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or St Neots after 13:50. Rail replacement coach services will operate between St Neots and Bedford, then connect to Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • All day, there will be no Thameslink trains between Finsbury Park and St Pancras InternationalTrains that usually run between Brighton and Cambridge or between Horsham and Peterborough will instead run from Brighton or Horsham to and from London Bridge.
  • From around lunchtime for the rest of the day, trains won’t run between Finsbury Park and London King’s Cross. There will be fewer trains between Cambridge and London. Passengers should use online journey planners to check the times of the last trains to and from London King’s Cross.
  • Passengers will be able to use London Underground between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross St Pancras to complete their journeys.
  • Trains to and from Moorgate will run to amended timetable.
  • Hull Trains will run a reduced service to/from King’s Cross before 12:00. No trains will run in the afternoon.
  • Grand Central train services will run to/from Finsbury Park instead of King’s Cross, where passengers can connect to London Underground services.

Saturday 5 June

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at Grantham, where passengers can connect to replacement coach services to/from Corby, then connect to East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • Before 06:00, buses will replace trains between Finsbury Park and Welwyn Garden City /Stevenage via Hertford North/Hitchin.
  • Trains won’t run between Finsbury Park and London King’s Cross or London St Pancras International all day.
  • Passengers will be able to use London Underground between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross St Pancras to complete their journey.
  • Trains to and from Moorgate will run to an amended timetable.
  • Thameslink trains that usually run between Brighton and Cambridge or Horsham and Peterborough will instead run between Brighton or Horsham and London Bridge all day.
  • Hull Trains will run services to/from London St Pancras International instead of King’s Cross. Trains will not call at Doncaster, Retford, Grantham or Stevenage.
  • Buses will replace Cross Country services between Melton Mowbray and Peterborough.
  • No Grand Central services will run over the weekend.

Sunday 6 June

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at Grantham, where passengers can connect to replacement coach services to/from Corby, then connect to East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • Before 07:10, buses will replace trains between Finsbury Park and Potters Bar/Gordon Hill.
  • Before 10:45, buses will replace trains between Huntingdon and Peterborough.
  • All day, there will be no trains between Finsbury Park and London King’s Cross/London St Pancras International.
  • Passengers will be able to use London Underground between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross St Pancras to complete their journey.
  • Trains to and from Moorgate will run to an amended timetable.
  • Thameslink trains that usually run between Brighton and Cambridge will instead run between Brighton and London Bridge.
  • Hull Trains will run services to/from London St Pancras International instead of King’s Cross. Trains will not call at Doncaster, Retford, Grantham or Stevenage.
  • Buses will replace Cross Country services between Melton Mowbray and Peterborough.
  • No Grand Central services will run over the weekend.

People should continue following the latest Government guidance to travel safely and plan journeys in advance.

Passengers who need to travel between 4 and 7 June are being strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries, here at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. They should also allow extra time as journeys will take longer than usual. All passengers travelling on LNER services will need to book a seat reservation.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“We’re now approaching the home straight in this massive programme of improvements that will deliver better connected, more reliable services to passengers travelling between London and Scotland on the historic East Coast Main Line.

“We appreciate that delivering these long term improvements requires some short term disruption and remain extremely grateful to passengers for their continued patience.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Great Northern and Thameslink said:

“If you do choose to travel with us over this period then please plan ahead by checking train times and alternative routes. Journeys will take longer and you’ll probably need to take the bus or Tube.

“This three-day closure is the last hurdle in a huge upgrade of the tracks at King’s Cross that creates more space for trains coming in and out, which helps services run on time.”


Three-day closure at King’s Cross in June marks end of multi-million pound station upgrade

17 May 2021

  • Network Rail continues to simplify track layout at London King’s Cross during main stage of £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade
  • No trains to/from London King’s Cross on the afternoon of Friday 4, and all day on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June
  • No trains to/from St Pancras via Finsbury Park all day Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June
  • Full service resumes on Monday 7 June
  • Work will reduce congestion and bring more reliable journeys for passengers
  • People should continue following the latest Government guidance and minimise travel

Work is well underway on the final stage of a major project to transform the track layout at London King’s Cross to make it more practical for trains and bring more reliable journeys for passengers.

Although the Government advice is to minimise travel and avoid making unnecessary trips, those passengers who do need to travel between 4 and 7 June are being advised to plan ahead to avoid significant disruption.

Teams at King’s Cross have already lifted the complex track, which was laid over 40 years ago. During the past two months, around 2800 metres of track, which makes up the new, redesigned layout, have been installed.

A major milestone was reached last month, when platforms 0-6 reopened and work began on platforms 7-11. As well as improvements to the track, a tunnel just outside King’s Cross, which had been closed for 44 years, reopened – providing two additional tracks to allow more trains to run in and out of the station and reduce congestion.

While the second half of the station has its transformation, the slightly reduced service which has been in place since the beginning of March will continue until early June, including over the late May Bank Holiday. People should continue following the latest Government guidance and minimise travel where possible.

No trains will run to or from London King’s Cross in the afternoon on Friday 4 June, and all day on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June. Additionally, No trains will run to or from St Pancras via Finsbury Park all day on Friday 4, Saturday 5 or Sunday 6 June. This will allow final improvements to be made to the signalling in and around King’s Cross.

During this time, vital work will also be carried out on a project to build a dive-under at Werrington, North of Peterborough, which will allow slower moving freight trains to run underneath the East Coast Main Line.

Following the ‘big push’ back in January, when the 11,000-tonne railway tunnel was pushed into place, teams will be moving the tracks into their final position inside it. Once complete, this will bring faster, more reliable passenger services on the famous route.

For all of this work to take place safely, the following changes to services will be in place:

Friday 4 June

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or St Neots after 13:50. Rail replacement coach services will operate between St Neots and Bedford, then connect to Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • All day, there will be no trains between Finsbury Park and St Pancras International. Thameslink services between Brighton and Cambridge and between Horsham and Peterborough will instead run to and from London Bridge.
  • Hull Trains will run a reduced service to/from King’s Cross before 12:00. No trains will run in the afternoon.
  • Grand Central train services will run to/from Finsbury Park instead of King’s Cross, where passengers can connect to London Underground services.
  • Passengers should use online journey planners to check the times of the last trains to and from London King’s Cross.
  • Passengers will be able to use London Underground between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross St Pancras to complete their journeys.
  • Trains to and from Moorgate will run to amended timetable.
  • Thameslink trains between Bedford and St Pancras International will run as normal

Saturday 5 June:

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at Grantham, where passengers can connect to replacement coach services to/from Corby, then connect to East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • Before 06:00, buses will replace trains between Finsbury Park and Welwyn Garden City/Stevenage via Hertford North/Hitchin.
  • Trains won’t run between Finsbury Park and London King’s Cross or London St Pancras International all day.
  • Passengers will be able to use London Underground between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross St Pancras to complete their journey.
  • Hull Trains will run a special service to/from London St Pancras International instead of King’s Cross. Trains will not call at Doncaster, Retford, Grantham or Stevenage.
  • Buses will replace Cross Country services between Melton Mowbray and Peterborough.
  • No Grand Central services will run over the weekend.
  • Trains to and from Moorgate will run to an amended timetable.

Sunday 6 June:

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at Grantham, where passengers can connect to replacement coach services to/from Corby, then connect to East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • Before 07:10, buses will replace trains between Finsbury Park and Potters Bar/Gordon Hill.
  • Before 10:45, buses will replace trains between Huntingdon and Peterborough.
  • All day, there will be no trains between Finsbury Park and London King’s Cross/London St Pancras International.
  • Passengers will be able to use London Underground between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross St Pancras to complete their journey.
  • Hull Trains will run a special service to/from London St Pancras International instead of King’s Cross. Trains will not call at Doncaster, Retford, Grantham or Stevenage.
  • Buses will replace Cross Country services between Melton Mowbray and Peterborough.
  • No Grand Central services will run over the weekend.
  • Trains to and from Moorgate will run to an amended timetable.

Passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries, here at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. They should also allow extra time as journeys will take longer than usual. All passengers travelling on LNER services will need to book a seat reservation.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“Major progress is being made every day at King’s Cross as we complete work across the second half of the station and fast approach 7 June.

“Upgrading the track layout, as well as reopening Gasworks Tunnel, will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, reduce congestion and bring more reliable journeys. With just one three-day closure to go, we want to thank passengers for their continued patience throughout the project.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“It’s fantastic to be reaching the end of the works for the King’s Cross Remodelling project, and I want to thank passengers who have been so patient during this period of disruption.

“Completing these major works brings us one step closer to finishing our vital East Coast upgrade, which will deliver improved connectivity for long distance passengers and more reliable journeys in the future.”

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

“We’re urging passengers who have to travel on the East Coast Main Line on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June to plan ahead and allow plenty of time for their journey.

“This work Network Rail is carrying out as part of the East Coast Upgrade will make it easier for trains to enter and exit the station and allow more reliable services to run for passengers.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Great Northern and Thameslink said:

“If you do choose to travel with us over this period then please plan ahead by checking train times. Journeys will take longer and you’ll probably have to take the bus or Tube.

“This three-day closure is the last hurdle in a huge upgrade of the tracks at King’s Cross which creates more space for trains coming in and out, helping make trains more punctual.”


Better connected King’s Cross as Network Rail launches unlimited free WiFi

1 April 2021

On top of our £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade to enable faster, more frequent and more reliable trains, a range of improvements for passengers at London King’s Cross has been topped off with the introduction of unlimited free WiFi throughout the station.

The internet upgrade is the latest in a series of schemes unveiled in time for the gradual return of passengers to the railway as Government restrictions are eased.

In December, new, environmentally friendly toilets opened for passengers after a £2.3million upgrade. The toilets on the mezzanine and ground floor levels were completely refurbished and now use much less energy and water. The modern facilities are also more accessible.

An additional free drinking fountain, regularly cleaned with a specialist Covid-killing product, has been installed at the station to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles. Passengers can also benefit from new seating areas as well as improved digital screens, making the station more relaxing for passengers and keeping them up to date with the latest information as they wait for their train.

Laura Murphy, King’s Cross Station Manager for Network Rail, said:

“As restrictions ease and we welcome people back to the railway, we know that free, unlimited WiFi at King’s Cross will improve the experience for passengers.

“The online connectivity, as well as the other major improvements for passengers, means people can make the best use of their journey time before connecting to other towns and cities.”

People should continue to follow the latest Government guidance and minimise travel where possible.


Month to go until three-day closure including a Friday at King’s Cross as Network Rail transforms track layout to improve reliability

24 March 2021

  • No trains at King’s Cross on Friday 23, Saturday 24 or Sunday 25 April
  • Only travel if absolutely essential on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April
  • Network Rail is improving the track layout at King’s Cross and reopening a disused tunnel in the main stage of a £1.2billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line
  • Work will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, reduce congestion and bring smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers
  • Passengers should continue to minimise travel and follow the latest Government guidance

With a month to go, Network Rail, Great Northern and Thameslink are reminding passengers to plan ahead and allow extra time when King’s Cross station in London is closed for the weekend, including all day Friday 23 April.

During that weekend, on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April, people are advised not to take the train at all on the Peterborough, Hertford and Cambridge routes unless their journey is absolutely essential, because Thameslink and Great Northern services will be so limited.

Network Rail is transforming the track layout in and around King’s Cross and reopening a tunnel just outside the station, that has been disused for 40 years. This will allow more trains to enter and exit the station and bring smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers.

Since the main stage of work on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade got underway at King’s Cross in March, platform edges have been demolished, track has been lifted and overhead line equipment removed. Over the next month, hundreds of workers will be on site 24/7 to rebuild them and replace and realign the track.

Before platforms 0-6 at King’s Cross can reopen for passengers and work can begin to lift the track at platforms 7-11, vital changes need to be made to the signalling, which is why the three days of work in late April is required.

Friday 23 April

  • Great Northern and Thameslink services that usually run to/from London Kings Cross will start/end at Finsbury Park for connections with London Underground services to King’s Cross.
  • Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras International and Great Northern services to/from Moorgate will continue to run. For the easiest journey, passengers travelling to or from central London are strongly encouraged to use these services instead to avoid the long walk between the National Rail and Underground platforms at Finsbury Park.
  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or Stevenage, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International.
  • Grand Central will run a reduced service between Sunderland/Bradford and Finsbury Park.
  • Hull Trains will not run.

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April

  • No trains will run to/from London King’s Cross, Moorgate or to/from London St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.
  • Trains will run between Peterborough and St Neots, between King’s Lynn, Cambridge and Letchworth Garden City, and between Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar only. A number of rail replacement bus routes will connect with alternative rail services or London Underground lines for onward travel into London.
  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or St Neots. A replacement coach service will run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International.
  • Grand Central and Hull Trains services will not run to or from London.

People should continue following the latest Government guidance and minimise travel where possible. Passengers who have to travel are strongly advised to plan ahead, allow plenty of time for their journey and check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or with their train operator.

The improvements to the track layout will continue until early June and train services will continue for the vast majority of this work. There will be no services to or from King’s Cross on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June, and a full service will resume once again on Monday 7 June.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“It’s strange seeing no trains, no track and no passengers across half of King’s Cross as we make major progress to install the completely redesigned, simpler track layout.

“Working with the wider rail industry, we’ve managed well with the complex track that was laid over 40 years ago, but this vital stage of the project will make it much more practical for trains coming in and out of the station – meaning more reliable journeys for passengers.

“We’ve carefully planned this project to keep disruption to a minimum, and as we start work at platforms 7-11, trains will be able to use platforms 0-6. We want to thank passengers for their continued patience as we make essential changes to the signalling over the three-day closure.”

Jenny Saunders, Great Northern and Thameslink Customer Services Director, said:

“In a month’s time, on Friday 23 April, you’ll still be able to travel with us, in accordance with the Government advice that applies at the time, but the trains which normally go to King’s Cross will stop short at Finsbury Park so for journeys into Central London we recommend taking a train to St Pancras or Moorgate instead.

“That weekend, 24 and 25 April, however, you shouldn’t travel unless you absolutely have to. We’ll have only a very limited train service and you’re likely to have to change trains several times and maybe even queue to get on board.”

Replacement bus details:

Friday 23 April – Passengers can use London Underground or London Bus services between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April – A number of rail replacement bus routes will connect with alternative rail services or London Underground lines for onward travel into London. For full details click here

Additional improvements and changes to services:

Additional improvements to the track at Bowes Park will impact on Great Northern services on the Hertford Loop over Easter:

Saturday 3 April – Buses will replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Gordon Hill due to Easter work on the Hertford North line.

Sunday 4 April – Buses will replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Hertford North

Monday 5 April – Buses will replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Gordon Hill

In line with the latest Government guidance, people are urged to minimise travel over the Easter Bank Holiday. Passengers can find out how their Easter journeys will be affected via National Rail Enquiries, with their train operator or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.


This is a platform alteration – all change at London King’s Cross next month as Network Rail continues to transform track layout

24 March 2021

  • Network Rail is improving the track layout at London King’s Cross and reopening a disused tunnel in the main stage of a £1.2billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line
  • Slightly reduced services continue to run over the Easter bank holiday for passengers making essential journeys, and people are urged to minimise travel
  • No trains to/from London King’s Cross on Friday 23, Saturday 24 or Sunday 25 April
  • Platforms 0-6 will reopen for passengers on 26 April as work begins at platforms 7-11

Platform edges have been demolished, track has been lifted and overhead line equipment has been removed as London King’s Cross prepares for its biggest platform alteration next month.

The main part of a major project to simplify the track layout, and reopen a tunnel, just outside the station, that has been disused for 40 years, got underway at the beginning of March. This will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, reduce congestion and bring smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers.

Since then, platforms 0-6 have been closed and over the next month, hundreds of workers will be on site 24/7 to rebuild them, and replace and realign the track, before they reopen on Monday 26 April.

The project has been planned carefully and throughout the vast majority of this work, including over Easter, train services will continue to run to and from the major transport hub. In line with the latest Government guidance, people are urged to minimise travel over the Easter bank holiday.

On Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April changes will be made to the signalling in the station. This vital halfway point – before work completes in June – will then allow teams to begin lifting the tracks at platforms 7-11, as passengers use the newly reconstructed platforms 0-6 instead.

This work can only be done safely when there are no trains in the area and the following changes to services will be in place over the three days:

Friday 23 April

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or Stevenage, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International.
  • Grand Central will run a reduced service between Sunderland/Bradford and Finsbury Park.
  • Hull Trains will not run.

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or St Neots. A replacement coach service will run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International.
  • Grand Central and Hull Trains services will not run to or from London.

Passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to plan ahead and check their journey via National Rail Enquiries, at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. People travelling to London will need to change trains and journeys will take longer than usual.

Once the station reopens on Monday 26 April, trains will continue with a slight reduction to long distance services. People should allow plenty of time and avoid peak times where possible. 

Teams will then continue with the final stages of work to transform the track layout. There will be no services to or from King’s Cross on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June, and a full service will resume once again on Monday 7 June.

The East Coast Upgrade, which also includes upgrades to the power supply and a new tunnel at Werrington, will bring improved reliability and punctuality for passengers travelling on the East Coast Main Line, better connecting towns and cities between Scotland, the North and London.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“It’s strange seeing no trains, no track and no passengers across half of King’s Cross as we make major progress to install the completely redesigned, simpler track layout.

“Working with the wider rail industry, we’ve managed well with the complex track that was laid over 40 years ago, but this vital stage of the project will make it much more practical for trains coming in and out of the station – meaning more reliable journeys for passengers.

“We’ve carefully planned this project to keep disruption to a minimum, and as we start work at platforms 7-11, trains will be able to use platforms 0-6. We want to thank passengers for their continued patience as we make essential changes to the signalling over the three-day closure.”

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

“We would like to thank passengers for continuing to follow the latest Government guidance and ask them to minimise travel over Easter.

“Train services are continuing throughout the majority of this work at King’s Cross, which will bring more reliable journeys for passengers.

“People who do need to travel on Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April are strongly advised to plan ahead and check their journey via National Rail Enquiries, at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or with their train operator.”


Keeping King’s Cross on track – Main stage of £1.2billion upgrade begins next week

 

23 February 2021

  • The main stage of a £1.2billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line begins next week
  • No trains in or out of London King’s Cross station on 26/27/28 February, 23/24/25 April and 4/5/6 June
  • Reduced service to/from London King’s Cross station between 1 March and 6 June (inclusive)
  • The three months of work will see Network Rail improve the track layout on the approach to London King’s Cross station and reopen a disused railway tunnel- making it easier for trains to enter and exit the station
  • The work is part of the East Coast Upgrade, which will transform journeys between London, Cambridgeshire, the North of England and Scotland

Next week, Network Rail will begin the main stage of a £1.2billion investment into the East Coast Main Line, which will transform journeys in and out of one of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations.

Between 1 March and early June, hundreds of Network Rail workers will be on site 24/7 to simplify the track layout just outside of London King’s Cross station. The complex work will see the current layout, which was laid forty years ago, lifted, replaced and realigned, creating smoother, more punctual and more reliable services for passengers.

Engineers will also complete vital work to reopen a tunnel on the approach to the station, which closed in the 1970s. This will provide two additional tracks, reducing congestion, creating additional capacity and making it easier for trains to enter and exit the historic transport hub.

The work taking place at King’s Cross over the next three months is the main stage of the East Coast Upgrade and follows months of activity at the station. Once the work is completed in June, teams will have installed more than 6km of new track and 15km of overhead wires, which are used to power trains.

The rail industry has carefully planned the work to keep disruption to a minimum. Trains will still be able to run to and from King’s Cross for the vast majority of the three-month period, whilst half the station is closed.

Teams are making temporary changes to the signalling system at King’s Cross during the three-day closure, paving the way for the main, three-month stage of the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade to take place between March and June. This will allow half of the station to be closed so that the vital improvements can be carried out, whilst services continue.

The following changes to services will be in place:

Friday 26 February

  • Most LNER services to/from the north of England and Scotland will start/end at Peterborough
  • Two trains per hour will start/end at St Neots, where passengers can use replacement coach services to Bedford, to connect with trains between Bedford and St Pancras International
  • Trains to and from Cambridge and Peterborough will start and end at Potters Bar, where passengers can use replacement buses to connect to alternative rail or London Underground services. Trains to and from Welwyn Garden City will start and end at New Barnet and services to and from Stevenage via Hertford North will start and end at Gordon Hill, with replacement buses running to Alexandra Palace.

Saturday 27 February

  • Most LNER services to/from the north of England and Scotland will start/end at Peterborough
  • Two trains per hour will start/end at St Neots, where passengers can use replacement coach services to Bedford, to connect with trains between Bedford and St Pancras International
  • Trains to and from Cambridge and Peterborough will start and end at Stevenage. Trains to and from Stevenage via Hertford North will start and end at Gordon Hill.

Sunday 28 February

  • Most LNER services to/from the north of England and Scotland will start/end at Peterborough
  • Two trains per hour will start/end at St Neots, where passengers can use replacement coach services to Bedford, to connect with trains between Bedford and St Pancras International
  • Trains to and from Cambridge and Peterborough will start and end at Hitchin. Services to and from Stevenage via Hertford North will be extended to Letchworth Garden City and will start and end at Gordon Hill.

Passengers who need to make essential journeys on the East Coast Main Line over the coming months are strongly advised to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, with their train operator or here at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk.

People should also allow plenty of time and avoid peak times where possible if travelling on longer distance journeys. Passengers travelling on all LNER services must have a seat reservation.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“The work we are doing over the next three months is a crucial piece of the puzzle on the East Coast Upgrade.

“Untangling the complex track layout just outside of King’s Cross and reopening a railway tunnel which has been closed for over 40 years will make it easier for trains to enter and exit the station, improving journeys for all those travelling to and from the station.

This, when coupled with upgrades elsewhere along the route, such as improving the power supply and the construction of a new dive under tunnel near Peterborough, will mean faster and more frequent services, better connecting towns and cities across the country and offering more choice for passengers.

“We continue to work closely with train operators on this industry leading project to make sure that the impact   on those who need to make essential journeys is as little as possible.”

Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, said:

“The impressive work to not only replace and realign track, but to reopen a tunnel closed 40 years ago, underlines our determination to deliver major upgrades for passengers.

“As passengers return to our railway, these upgrades will make journeys in and out of one of Britain’s most historic stations more punctual and reliable, and I want to thank all those keeping services running as the work is carried out.”

David Horne, LNER Managing Director, said:

“The transformation in LNER’s services delivered by the East Coast Upgrade will be the biggest in a generation, with huge benefits for communities along our route. We’ve made significant progress to date, supporting our customers throughout, and are now entering the final stage of the work.

“Until early June, engineering work at London King’s Cross will mean limited capacity as no more than half of the station platforms will be available at any one time. During this, we will have a temporary timetable that allows us to support as many customers as possible, for when travel restrictions begin to be eased.”

Jenny Saunders, Great Northern and Thameslink Customer Services Director, said:

“This work at King’s Cross will improve reliability for everyone using the East Coast Main Line and enable improvements for long-distance services.

“However, with no trains running south of Potters Bar, New Barnet and Gordon Hill this Friday and other changes over the weekend, passengers making essential journeys will need to take buses to connect with services into London and this will take longer. Full details are available on our Great Northern and Thameslink websites.”

Grand Central and Hull Trains have suspended their services whilst non-essential travel has been prohibited and will resume in line with the relaxation of Government restrictions.

Further information:

Limited replacement bus services will run across multiple routes on Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February:

  • Hitchin – Luton Airport Parkway
  • Potters Bar – Cockfosters London Underground station
  • Potters Bar – St Albans City
  • Gordon Hill – Alexandra Palace (change at Bowes Park for connections with London Underground at nearby Bounds Green station)
  • Stevenage – Potters Bar (Saturday and Sunday only)

Network Rail has announced dates where there will be no services or a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. Passengers who must travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance:

  • Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April – No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday.
  • Friday 4 June – From midday no services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.
  • Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.

King’s Uncrossed – Crucial stage of £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade fast approaching

Engineers work on the tracks and overhead line equipment at London King's Cross station.

8 February 2021

No trains in or out of London King’s Cross, Moorgate, or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park, on Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February, ahead of a crucial stage of work to install a new simplified track layout between March and June
• The work is part of the East Coast Upgrade, which will transform journeys between London, Cambridgeshire, the North of England and Scotland
• Passengers who must travel for essential reasons are urged to check their journeys.

Network Rail teams are gearing up to carry out a major stage of the £1.2billion upgrade to the East Coast Main Line, which is the biggest investment into the route in a generation.

Over a three-month period, rail workers will simplify the track layout just outside of King’s Cross station, as well as reopen a railway tunnel which closed in the 1970s, creating two extra tracks in and out of the iconic transport hub.

Both pieces of work will make it easier for trains to enter and exit London King’s Cross station, reducing congestion and creating smoother, more reliable and more punctual journeys for passengers.

To enable the reduced service to run during the three months, Network Rail teams will make essential changes to the signalling and tracks in the area, with this work taking place between Friday 26 and Sunday 28 February (inclusive). During this time, no trains will run to or from London King’s Cross, Moorgate or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.

The following changes will be in place:

LNER services:

• Most LNER services to/from the north of England and Scotland will start/end at Peterborough
• Two trains per hour will start/end at St Neots, where passengers can use replacement coach services to Bedford, to connect with trains between Bedford and St Pancras International
• Passengers travelling on all LNER services must have a seat reservation

Great Northern and Thameslink services:

Friday 26 February – Trains to and from Cambridge and Peterborough will start and end at Potters Bar, where passengers can connect to London Underground services. Trains to and from Welwyn Garden City will start and end at New Barnet and services to and from Stevenage via Hertford North will start and end at Gordon Hill.
Saturday 27 February – Trains to and from Cambridge and Peterborough will start and end at Stevenage. Trains to and from Stevenage via Hertford North will start and end at Gordon Hill.
Sunday 28 February – Trains to and from Cambridge and Peterborough will start and end at Hitchin. Services to and from Stevenage via Hertford North will be extended to Letchworth Garden City and will start and end at Gordon Hill.

Additional improvements to the track are also taking place on Sunday 14 February, which means buses will replace trains between Peterborough and Hitchin. On Sunday 21 February, no trains will run between Stevenage and Alexandra Palace.

People must continue to follow the latest Government guidance and stay at home, except for limited reasons. Those who need to make essential journeys are strongly advised to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or their train operator’s website.

Passengers are also encouraged to allow plenty of time as journeys will take longer and passengers may need to change trains or use replacement bus services. To support social distancing, there may also be queuing systems at some stations.

This work will allow hundreds of rail workers to simplify the track layout at King’s Cross station between March and June. They will also reopen a railway tunnel which closed in the 1970s, creating two extra tracks in and out of the iconic transport hub. Both pieces of work will make it easier for trains to enter and exit King’s Cross station, reducing congestion and creating smoother, more reliable and more punctual journeys for passengers.

There may be some changes to train times and passengers making essential journeys over the next three months are strongly advised to check before travelling. There will also be two weekends, one in April and one in June, when no trains will be able to call at London King’s Cross. A full service will run once more from Monday 7 June.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“Our teams are busy making sure that everything is ready for the latest stage of this industry leading project. The work we’re doing at the end of this month is vital to enable train services to run in and out of King’s Cross station when we close half of the platforms between March and June.

“This East Coast Upgrade is a truly transformative programme, which will bring significant and tangible benefits, such as more reliable journeys on the East Coast Main Line. Once again like to thank all those impacted by this work for their patience.”

David Horne, LNER Managing Director, said:

“We understand this crucial work may disrupt customers’ travel plans over the next few months and we appreciate their understanding. When completed, this project will bring long-term benefits for customers and communities along the East Coast route.

“This is a crucial stage of the East Coast Upgrade programme that will see two new tracks installed inside the new tunnel and signalling system, which will allow LNER to operate faster, more frequent services connecting London, the North of England and Scotland. Customers who need to travel on the dates affected should plan ahead as we work with Network Rail to deliver the benefits of this major investment.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director at Thameslink and Great Northern, said:

“Just 15% of the normal number of people are travelling with us at the moment due to coronavirus restrictions. I would urge anyone whose journey is essential to plan ahead for this three-day closure of King’s Cross station which includes a weekday, Friday. Advice for passengers is available online now and our staff will be ready to help on the day.”

Limited replacement bus services will run across multiple routes on Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February:

St Neots – Bedford for connections to/from St Pancras International on Thameslink services
Hitchin – Luton Airport Parkway for connections to/from St Pancras International on Thameslink services
Stevenage – Potters Bar (Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February only)
Potters Bar – Cockfosters Underground Station for connections to/from Central London on the Piccadilly Line
Potters Bar – St Albans City for connections to/from St Pancras International on Thameslink services
• All stations between Gordon Hill and Alexandra Palace (change at Bowes Park station for connections to/from Central London at nearby Bounds Green Underground station)

Network Rail has announced dates where there will be no services or a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. Passengers who must travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance.

Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April – No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday.
Friday 4 June – From midday no services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.
Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.


No trains into London south of Potters Bar and Gordon Hill this weekend as work ramps up on the East Coast Upgrade

26 January 2021

  • Major improvement work means there are no trains to/from London King’s Cross this weekend (Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January)
  • Buses also replace trains between Peterborough and Hitchin this weekend
  • People must follow the latest Government guidance and only travel for limited reasons
  • Further changes to services ahead of partial closure at King’s Cross between March and June

Network Rail, Thameslink and Great Northern are reminding passengers making essential journeys on the East Coast Main Line that no trains will run south of Potters Bar and Gordon Hill, to or from London King’s Cross, Moorgate or St Pancras via Finsbury Park this Saturday and Sunday, 30 and 31 January.

Over the weekend, teams are continuing with essential work to install overhead line equipment and improve the signalling in and around King’s Cross, which will bring more reliable journeys for passengers. This work, which is part of the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade, is being carried out safely, in line with Government guidance.

There will also be changes to services on each weekend throughout February, and no trains to or from London King’s Cross on Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February, as major work takes place ahead of a longer partial closure at the station between Monday 1 March and early June. During this time, teams will modernise the track layout, making it easier for trains to enter and exit the station.

The £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment in the route in a generation and will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers, transforming journeys between London, Peterborough and Cambridge.

People must continue to follow the latest Government guidance and stay at home, except for limited reasons. Those who must travel are strongly advised to check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, here at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or on their train operator’s website and allow plenty of time.

  • Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January – There will be no trains at all south of Potters Bar and Gordon Hill, to or from London King’s Cross, Moorgate and St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.

Passengers travelling between London and Peterborough/Cambridge/Stevenage/Welwyn Garden City will need to use replacement buses, which will connect with alternative rail and London Underground services.

Buses will also replace trains between Peterborough and Hitchin.

  • Sunday 7 and Sunday 14 February – There will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No services will run between Peterborough and Hitchin, with buses replacing trains
  • Sunday 21 February – There will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains will run between Stevenage and Alexandra Palace.
  • Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February – No trains will run to or from London King’s Cross, Moorgate or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“We’re making vital improvements at King’s Cross over the next few weeks, ahead of a longer partial closure at the station, when we will be changing the layout of the track to bring more reliable services for passengers.

“The improvements being carried out this weekend to the overhead lines and signalling system can only be done safely when there are no trains on the lines. This means passengers who must travel should check their journeys and allow plenty of time.

“We want to thank people for their continued patience as work gathers pace on the East Coast Upgrade.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Great Northern and Thameslink, said:

“Due to the pandemic and Government restrictions, no-one should be travelling unless their journeys are absolutely essential. For those who have to take the train, this weekend will be particularly difficult, and I would urge you to check the latest advice at National Rail Enquiries before heading out to the station.”

Detailed bus replacement info for Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January:

  • Replacement buses will run from Potters Bar to St Albans, where passengers can connect to alternative Thameslink services to/from St Pancras International.
  • Replacement buses will also run between Potters Bar and Cockfosters London Underground station, for Tube connections to/from central London.
  • A rail replacement bus service will run from Gordon Hill via all stations to Alexandra Palace. Anyone travelling to or from central London should alight at the stop for Bowes Park where they can use London Underground services from Bounds Green station which is a short walk away. There is no step-free access at Gordon Hill or Bounds Green stations.

Further changes to train services, March – June 2021:

Network Rail has announced dates where there will be no services or a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. Passengers who must travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance.

  • Monday 1 March through to Thursday 22 April – A temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating.
  • Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April – No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday
  • Monday 26 April through to Thursday 3 June – A further temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating.
  • Friday 4 June – From midday no services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park
  • Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park

Big Push – Network Rail installs 11,000 tonne railway tunnel in UK first

The tunnel at Werrington afterhaving been pushed into place

25 January 2021

An 11,000 tonne curved concrete box has been successfully pushed under the East Coast Main Line near Peterborough, in a first for UK engineering.

Over the past nine days, Network Rail teams reached this major milestone in the project to build a new tunnel at Werrington, north of Peterborough, which will enable slower moving freight trains to dive underneath the famous passenger route and use an adjacent line northwards.

This time-lapse footage shows the 155-metre curved concrete box tunnel, which is heavier than the Eiffel Tower, being pushed into place at just 150cm per hour, using four hydraulic jacks.

This is the first time that a curved concrete box has been installed using this industry-leading engineering technique in the UK.

It took nine days, but using this cutting-edge technique avoided hundreds of hours of passenger disruption on this vital part of the East Coast Main Line and meant that services could continue running throughout.

Teams removed three of the tracks, lifted the overhead wires and dug out spoil from the site. Once the tunnel was eventually underneath, they then put everything back in place ready for regular services to resume. The work was carried out safely, in line with Government Covid guidance.

Paul Rutter, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, said:

“Our teams have completed this challenging piece of engineering in a creative way, which also allowed a reduced train service to continue for those who still had to travel.

“Over the nine days, we’ve made major progress on this vital project which will bring faster, more reliable journeys for passengers on the East Coast Main Line.

“I’m so proud that this project has shown itself to be one which is industry leading and that our teams have had the opportunity to use this new technique for the first time in the UK on one of the country’s most famous railway lines.”

David Horne, LNER Managing Director, said:

“This essential part of the East Coast Upgrade will allow faster, more frequent LNER services between London, the North of England and Scotland by creating a new and improved route for slower trains to cross the main line.

“We look forward to working with Network Rail on the remaining East Coast Upgrade engineering works in the first half of this year, so that we can deliver the benefits for our customers and communities of this significant investment.”

The next stage of the project at Werrington involves work to install two new tracks inside the new tunnel and the associated signalling system, ready for it to come into use at the end of 2021.

The project is part of the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade. Once complete, it will bring a more reliable railway with more choice for passengers, as well as faster journeys between London, the North of England and Scotland.

Further south, teams are continuing with major work to install overhead line equipment and improve the signalling in and around London King’s Cross. For this work to take place safely, there will be no trains to or from King’s Cross on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January.

Passengers travelling to or from the north on the East Coast Main Line that weekend will need to transfer at Peterborough for rail replacement coaches, which connect to Thameslink services between Bedford and St Pancras International.

People must continue to follow the latest Government guidance and stay at home, except for limited reasons. Those who must travel are strongly advised to check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or on their train operator’s website and allow plenty of time.


11,000 tonne tunnel to be installed on the railway in first for UK engineering

An aerial view of the new tunnel at Werrington - image credit: Network Rail Air Operations

Aerial view of the new tunnel at Werrington. Image credit: Network Rail Air Operations

11 January 2021

  • Massive concrete structure to be pushed under the East Coast Main Line as part of £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade
  • Major works take place over nine days between 16 and 24 January
  • Hundreds of hours of passenger disruption to be avoided by industry-leading engineering technique
  • New tunnel will separate slow-moving freight from long-distance passenger trains – speeding up journeys and improving reliability

A massive 11,000 tonne curved concrete box is to be pushed under one of the country’s most famous railway lines in a first for UK engineering.

The structure, which weighs more than the Eiffel Tower, is being installed in a painstaking nine-day operation as part of the £1.2bn upgrade of the East Coast Main Line.

Engineers have spent the last nine months building the new tunnel by the side of the East Coast Main Line as trains have sped past between London and Edinburgh.

And now the massive concrete construction is ready to be pushed into place along pre-installed guiding supports, after the three tracks above have been temporarily removed.

Using a traditional method of installing a tunnel on the crucial stretch of the line would have meant closing it completely for about a month. But the pre-constructed structure will be installed in just nine days – and means a reduced level of service will be able to operate at the same time.

Paul Rutter, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, said:

“This is a massive engineering challenge, but it will avoid hundreds of hours of closure on one of the most important lines in the country.

“This is industry leading work that really puts the needs of passengers first in how we approach improvement work.

“In the past, Network Rail might have approached this problem by thinking about the easiest way to do the engineering. Instead, I’m proud to say we have come up with a creative and innovative solution that will deliver massive benefits while keeping disruption to a minimum.”

Rail Minister, Chris Heaton Harris, said:

“This is an astonishing feat, underlining this country’s reputation for pioneering engineering and delivering major upgrades for passengers.

“By undertaking a project of this magnitude now we are making the most of our railways being quieter, putting in place vital new infrastructure that will improve our railways for when passengers are safe to return.”

The work is being carried out at Werrington, north of Peterborough, where the East Coast Main Line is crossed by a slow-moving east-west freight route. Installing the tunnel will take slower freight trains off the fast route, speeding up services and improving reliability, while also reducing the amount of maintenance required on that section of track.

The new tunnel is a 155-metre curved concrete box that will be painstakingly pushed at 150cm per hour, using massive jacks to propel and steer it into place. It will be the first time this construction technique has been used in this way in the UK.

Hydraulic jacks attached to the new railway tunnel at Werrington

While the line will be kept open during the work, it will mean a very limited number of services will run south of Grantham during the nine-day piece of work. Passengers who must travel are asked to plan ahead and think about whether journeys are necessary while the installation is carried out.

Network Rail is also continuing with essential work at London King’s Cross, which will impact on train services on weekends throughout January. Teams will be installing new overhead line equipment and improving the signalling. The work is being carried out safely, in line with Government guidance.

People should continue to follow the latest Government guidance and must stay at home except for limited reasons. If you need to travel, you should walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Passengers are strongly advised to check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or on their train operator’s website and allow plenty of time.

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

“Passengers should only travel south of Grantham during these nine days if they have to. We strongly advise people to check before they travel and allow plenty of time as journeys will take longer.

“We thank our passengers for their patience whilst this essential work on the East Coast Upgrade, which will bring more services and a more reliable railway for passengers, is carried out.”


Passengers who must travel urged to plan ahead as vital work continues on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade this month

8 January 2021

  • People must follow the latest Government guidance and not travel except for limited reasons
  • Major improvement work means there are changes to services over the next four weekends in January

Network Rail, Thameslink and Great Northern are urging passengers who need to travel on the East Coast Main Line on weekends in January to plan ahead, as major improvement work continues on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade.

The East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment in the route in a generation and will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers, transforming journeys between London, Peterborough and Cambridge.

This month, teams will install new overhead line equipment and improve the signalling at London King’s Cross, as well as carry out maintenance work between Peterborough and Hitchin, which will improve reliability for passengers. This work is being carried out safely, in line with Government guidance.

People should continue to follow the latest Government guidance and must stay at home except for limited reasons. If you need to travel, you should walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Passengers are strongly advised to check their journeys and allow plenty of time.

  • No services will run between Peterborough and Hitchin on weekends in January, with buses replacing trains
  • London King’s Cross will be partially closed on 9/10, 16/17 and 23/24 January but nearly all the usual Thameslink and Great Northern trains will be running.
  • On 10, 17, 24 January, there will be no trains to or from Moorgate until around 08:45 and no trains between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross until around 10:20. Passengers who need to travel should use replacement buses or London Underground services instead.
  • On 30/31 January, there will be no trains at all south of Potters Bar and Gordon Hill, to or from London King’s Cross, Moorgate and St Pancras International via Finsbury Park. Replacement buses will run from Potters Bar to St Albans, where passengers change to alternative Thameslink services to/from St Pancras International. Buses will also run from Potters Bar/Gordon Hill to London Underground stations.

Further north, significant work is being carried out to build a new tunnel under the railway near Peterborough. Between Saturday 16 and Sunday 24 January, a massive concrete structure, which is heavier than the Eiffel Tower, will be pushed under the East Coast Main Line as part of the £1.2billion upgrade. Once complete, it will separate slow-moving freight from long-distance passenger trains – speeding journeys and improving reliability. During this time, passengers who have to travel to/from the north may need to complete their journey by coach.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“These improvements are vital and will bring more reliable journeys for passengers.

“Please continue to follow the latest Government guidance. If you must travel, plan ahead and allow plenty of time. As we make major progress on the East Coast Upgrade, I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Great Northern and Thameslink, said:

“The latest Government advice is to stay at home or stay local to help tackle the spread of Covid-19, so if you are thinking of travelling with us, then please first consider the restrictions in place. For anyone who must travel, please check our website before heading out to the station, as there are significant changes to our Thameslink and Great Northern trains every weekend this month with more changes set to follow.”

Detailed bus replacement info for 30/31 January

  • Replacement buses will run from Potters Bar to St Albans, where passengers can connect to alternative Thameslink services to/from St Pancras International.
  • Replacement buses will also run between Potters Bar to Cockfosters London Underground station, for Tube connections to/from central London.
  • A rail replacement bus service will run from Gordon Hill via all stations to Alexandra Palace, and then on to Turnpike Lane London Underground station for onwards Tube connections to/from central London.

Further changes, February-June

Network Rail has announced dates where there will be no services or a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. Passengers who must travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance.

  • Sundays 7 and 14 February – Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains between Peterborough and Hitchin
  • Sunday 21 February – Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains between Stevenage and Alexandra Palace
  • Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park
  • Monday 1 March through to Thursday 22 April – A temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating.
  • Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April – No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday
  • Monday 26 April through to Thursday 3 June – A further temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating.
  • Friday 4 June – From midday no services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park
  • Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park

Network Rail reaches major milestone on £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade as all four tracks into King’s Cross are lifted for the first time in decades to allow sewer reconstruction

Engineers dig out the railway tracks at London King's Cross station in order to carry out major works as part of the East Coast Upgrade project.

5 January 2021

  • Major progress was made at King’s Cross during a six-day closure over Christmas, including work to reconstruct Camden Sewer which runs beneath the tracks
  • Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are thanking passengers for their patience following the six-day closure at King’s Cross
  • Teams lifted all four tracks entering the station for the first time in over 40 years
  • The East Coast Upgrade will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers, improving journeys between London, the North of England and Scotland

A central London sewer was diverted and rebuilt in just nine days during major Christmas works on the £1.2billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line.

Train access to King’s Cross is being completely revamped as part of the huge project to provide better services into and out of one of the country’s biggest stations – meaning major work on a sewer running beneath the tracks.

A hugely complex engineering challenge meant teams had to remove all four tracks into the station for the first time in 40 years; dig out Camden Sewer from beneath them; divert, rebuild and strengthen the sewer; then relay the tracks in time for passenger services to resume on Monday morning.

3,200 litres of water per second passes through the sewer, the equivalent to around 12,800 five-minute showers. Teams also had to remove 850 tonnes of spoil from the sewer as part of the work.

Work was also carried out to install new overhead line equipment, renew some of the tracks around the station and install over 100 new pieces of signalling equipment, which will bring more reliable journeys for passengers.

The COVID-19 pandemic and government guidelines brought changes to the programme of work on the East Coast Upgrade. This complex part of the project was re-planned and completed on time, ready for a reduced service to run from Thursday 31 December and a full service to resume from Monday 4 January.

People should continue to follow the latest Government guidance by staying at home to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 and only travelling if they have to.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“This was an incredible, industry-leading piece of work by Network Rail engineers and our suppliers.

“Digging out and rebuilding a major sewer would have been a complex engineering challenge at any time, even without all the additional problems of working during the pandemic. But it was delivered without a hitch and without causing any extra disruption for passengers.

“I’d like to thank passengers for bearing with us while we completed the work – it will help us deliver a better and more railway for you in the future.”

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

“We’re thanking our passengers for their patience whilst major work was carried out at London King’s Cross over the festive period. The East Coast Upgrade will bring more reliable journeys for passengers on the East Coast Main Line.

“People should continue to follow Government guidance and those who have to travel are strongly advised to check their journey in advance.”

The next vital stage of work on the East Coast Upgrade project takes place at Werrington, north of Peterborough, over nine days in January. A new tunnel will allow slower freight services to dive under the East Coast Main Line instead of crossing it, making more space for additional passenger services.

From Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 January, three of the East Coast Main Line tracks will be removed and the concrete box structure, which will carry the new lines, will be pushed into place. During this time, there will be limited services on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham and Peterborough.

Some passengers may have to complete part of their journey by rail replacement services, and people travelling to and from Scotland may additionally need to change trains at Newcastle. All passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance.


Final reminder to passengers of major service changes on the East Coast Main Line as £1.2billion upgrade continues over Christmas

Text reads

  • Stay at home or stay local to help tackle the spread of COVID-19
  • If you have to travel on the East Coast Main Line, check your journey and allow plenty of time

22 December 2020

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are reminding passengers who need to travel over the Christmas period to check their journeys to avoid disappointment, as major work takes place on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade, including a six-day closure at London King’s Cross and altered services up to and including Sunday 3 January.

People must follow the latest Government guidance over the Christmas period and stay at home or stay local to help tackle the spread of COVID-19. The new restrictions also mean that people should not travel into or out of London, which is now a Tier 4 area.

Those who must travel on the East Coast Main Line should allow plenty of time as services which are running are expected to be busy. Passengers can check how their journeys will be affected by visiting eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or their train operator’s website.

Once complete, the East Coast Upgrade will transform journeys between London, Peterborough, the North of England and Scotland. It will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers and ensure the route has more capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.

Between Christmas Day and Wednesday 30 December (inclusive), Network Rail teams will be reconstructing, strengthening and diverting Camden Sewer, which runs beneath the railway just outside King’s Cross. This complex part of the project, which involves lifting a large section of all the tracks that serve the station, can only be carried out safely when there are no trains running in the area for six days. New overhead line equipment will also be installed, as well as work to renew some of the tracks.

Thursday 24 December 2020 – Network Rail has reduced the amount of work which will take place on Christmas Eve to enable some additional services to run on this date, although services will finish earlier in the evening, which is normal for Christmas Eve. Services are expected to be very busy, and passengers on long distance services will need a seat reservation.

Friday 25 and Saturday 26 December 2020 – As usual on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, there will be no services running on the East Coast Main Line, and no alternative services will be provided.

Sunday 27 December 2020 – There will be no trains in or out of London King’s Cross.

LNER services to and from the north will start and finish at either Peterborough or Stevenage and connecting trains will run to and from Finsbury Park or St Pancras International, but these are expected to be very busy. London Underground services will be available between Central London and Finsbury Park station.  Long distance passengers travelling north from London are advised to start their journey from either St Pancras International or Finsbury Park, which is expected to be very busy.

Great Northern and Thameslink services which would normally run to and from London King’s Cross will start and finish at Finsbury Park instead.  People who need to travel are advised to use London Underground services to and from Finsbury Park, or alternative services in or out of Moorgate.

A limited service to and from Cambridge and Stevenage will continue to serve St Pancras International.

Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 December 2020 – There will be no trains in or out of London King’s Cross.

LNER services to and from the north will start and finish at either Peterborough or Stevenage and connecting trains will run to and from St Pancras International, but these are expected to be busy.  Long distance passengers travelling north from London are advised to start their journey from St Pancras International.

Great Northern and Thameslink services which would normally run to and from London King’s Cross will start and finish at Finsbury Park instead.  Thameslink services via St Pancras International will continue to run as normal, but these are expected to be busy.

London Underground services will be available between Central London and Finsbury Park station, and alternative services to some local destinations run to and from Moorgate.

Thursday 31 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021 – There will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. Trains are expected to be busy.

Passengers must have seat reservations on all LNER services. Grand Central will not run any services between 25 December and 1 January. Hull Trains will not run between 25 December and 30 December.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“This six-day closure from Christmas Day is essential so we can reach a major milestone on the East Coast Upgrade, which once complete, will bring a more reliable railway for passengers and help meet future demand.

“We know people will want to spend time with their families if they can, but it’s essential that people follow the Government guidance and stay at home or stay local. If you have to travel over Christmas, please check your journey and plan ahead where possible to avoid disappointment.

“We want to thank passengers for their continued patience and understanding whist this essential work is carried out.”

Thameslink and Great Northern Managing Director Tom Moran said:

“With most of our network now under Tier 4 restrictions, people are being urged to stay at home. Those who have to travel should check carefully online before deciding to head for the train station. Our service will be affected throughout the Christmas period, returning to normal on Monday, 4 January. We’ll be busier too, helping LNER passengers connect with their trains at Stevenage and Peterborough.”

A spokesperson on behalf of other train operators on the route added:

“Train services which are running on the East Coast Main Line over the festive period are likely to be very busy, so please only travel to or from London if you have to.

“We want to thank passengers for their continued patience as work takes place on the East Coast Upgrade, which will bring a more reliable railway for passengers.”

A vital stage of work on another East Coast Upgrade project to build a new section of railway at Werrington, north of Peterborough, is taking place over nine days in January. The new tunnel will allow slower freight services to dive under the East Coast Main Line instead of crossing it, making more space for additional passenger services.

From Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 January, three of the East Coast Main Line tracks will be removed and the concrete box structure, which will carry the new lines, will be pushed into place. During this time, there will be limited services on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham and Peterborough.

Some passengers may have to complete part of their journey by rail replacement services, and people travelling to and from Scotland may additionally need to change trains at Newcastle. All passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance.


Passengers advised to book ahead and plan their journey carefully on the East Coast Main Line in advance of six-day closure of London King’s Cross over the Christmas period

Engineers working on the tracks at London King's Cross Station

4 December 2020

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are urging passengers to plan ahead to avoid disappointment if travelling on the East Coast Main Line to and from London between Christmas Day and Wednesday 30 December (inclusive) as major work takes place.

No trains will run into or out of King’s Cross between 25 and 30 December and a reduced service will be in place from 31 December to 3 January.

The work is part of the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade which is a once-in-a-generation investment to transform journeys between London, the North of England and Scotland. It will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers and will ensure the route has the capacity to deal with future passenger volumes.

It comes as the Government yesterday (Thursday 3 December) outlined a series of measures focused on minimising disruption and helping people travel safely over the Christmas period.

The national lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions between 23 and 27 December had made demand more unpredictable, and the railway is responding to this by laying on more services, adding more contingency and adjusting the engineering investment programme. On the East Coast Upgrade, Network Rail has reduced the amount of work which will take place on Christmas Eve to enable some additional services to run on this date.

However, services on Christmas Eve are expected to be very busy, so passengers should plan their journey ahead of time, and those making long distance journeys will need a seat reservation.

Over the six-day closure, Network Rail will be carrying out incredibly complex and crucial work to reconstruct, strengthen and divert Camden Sewer, which runs beneath the railway. This requires a large area of track bed to be lifted up, which means it can only be done safely when no trains are running. The sheer volume of the work means that the teams need six days to be able to carry this out. Work will also take place to install new overhead line equipment, which powers electric and bi-mode trains, as well as work to renew the tracks.

Thursday 24 December 2020 – There will be some additional services to and from London King’s Cross in addition to those already on sale as Network Rail has postponed the start time of major work to Christmas Day. Trains are expected to be very busy.

Friday 25 and Saturday 26 December 2020 – As usual on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, there will be no services running on the East Coast Main Line, and no alternative services will be provided.

Sunday 27 December 2020 – There will be no trains in or out of London King’s Cross.

LNER services to and from the north will start and finish at either Peterborough or Stevenage and connecting trains will run to and from Finsbury Park or St Pancras International, but these are expected to be very busy. London Underground services will be available between Central London and Finsbury Park station.

Great Northern and Thameslink services which would normally run to and from London King’s Cross will start and finish at Finsbury Park instead.  People who need to travel are advised to use London Underground services to and from Finsbury Park, or alternative services in or out of Moorgate.

A limited service to and from Cambridge and Stevenage will continue to serve St Pancras International.

Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 December 2020 – There will be no trains in or out of London King’s Cross.

LNER services to and from the north will start and finish at either Peterborough or Stevenage and connecting trains will run to and from St Pancras International, but these are expected to be busy.

Great Northern and Thameslink services which would normally run to and from London King’s Cross will start and finish at Finsbury Park instead.  Thameslink services via St Pancras International will continue to run as normal, but these are expected to be busy.

London Underground services will be available between Central London and Finsbury Park station, and alternative services to some local destinations run to and from Moorgate.

Thursday 31 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021 – There will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. Trains are expected to be very busy.

Passengers are strongly advised to only travel to or from London on the East Coast Main Line if absolutely necessary, and to seek alternative travel arrangements where possible. Passengers can see how their journeys will be affected by visiting eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or their train operator’s website. If people must travel, they should allow plenty of time as services which are running are expected to be busy.

Passengers can travel with confidence by wearing a face covering, washing or sanitising their hands and maintaining their social distance. Those looking to travel must book a seat reservation in advance in order to do so.

Grand Central and Hull Trains restarted operations on December 3 after suspending services during the recent national lockdown:

  • Grand Central will not run any services between December 25 and January 1
  • Hull Trains will not run between December 25 and December 30.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“We understand this Christmas is particularly special after what has been a difficult year, and that people want to spend time with their families if they can.

“We’re asking people who do decide to travel to consider their journey, plan and book ahead, and be considerate of fellow passengers.

“Our teams have been working hard over the past few months to do as much improvement work as possible without disrupting services. We now require the six-day closure at King’s Cross so we can reach a major milestone on the East Coast Upgrade, which when complete, will bring a more reliable railway for passengers.”

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

“Please only travel on the East Coast Main Line to and from London if you have no other alternative, as train services are likely to be very busy.

“This work on the East Coast Upgrade will bring a modern, more reliable railway, improving journeys for passengers travelling between Edinburgh, the north, Peterborough and London King’s Cross.”

After Christmas, a vital stage of work on another East Coast Upgrade project to build a new section of railway at Werrington, north of Peterborough, is taking place.

Progress has been made to construct a new tunnel, which will allow slower freight services to dive under the East Coast Main Line instead of crossing it, making more space for additional passenger services.

Over a nine-day period from Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 January, the concrete box structure, which will carry the new lines, will be pushed into place. This means there will be limited services on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham and Peterborough over this nine-day period, and some passengers may have to complete part of their journey by rail replacement services. People travelling to and from Scotland may additionally need to change trains at Newcastle during this time. All passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance.


Work ramps up on East Coast Upgrade ahead of six-day Christmas closure – passengers planning travel to/from London King’s Cross reminded to check their journeys

10 November 2020

  • Work is ramping up on site just outside of London King’s Cross station ahead of six-day closure at Christmas
  • Passengers urged to check before travelling throughout November and December as major changes to services are in place
  • Work is part of £1.2billion upgrade which will transform travel for passengers who use the East Coast Main Line each year

Network Rail is ramping up work on a major project just outside of London King’s Cross station which is part of a £1.2billion upgrade into the historic rail route which links Edinburgh and London. There will be major weekend service changes throughout November ahead of a six-day closure of King’s Cross at Christmas.

Network Rail teams are working day and night to reopen a disused railway tunnel, simplify the track layout on the approach to King’s Cross station and increase the number of tracks into the station from four to six. This work, when coupled with improvements elsewhere along the route, will mean more train services can run in the future.

The East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment into the East Coast Main Line in a generation and will bring more services and a more reliable railway for passengers, as well as improving connectivity between London, Cambridgeshire, the North of England and Scotland.

Network Rail’s plans are gathering pace ahead of a six-day closure of King’s Cross station between Christmas Day and Wednesday, 30 December (inclusive).  This means that there are three upcoming weekends when there are changes to services, with passengers who must travel urged to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.

  • On Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 November, there will be a reduced service in and out of King’s Cross station. On the Sunday, (15 November) there will also be no service to/from St Pancras via Finsbury Park and buses will replace trains on the Hertford North line.
  • On Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 November, there will be no services in or out of King’s Cross, to or from Moorgate and to or from St Pancras station via Finsbury Park. Passengers are urged not to travel.
  • A limited bus replacement service will run between Peterborough and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink services to/from St Pancras International.
  • There will be no Great Northern or Thameslink services south of Potters Bar or Gordon Hill. Limited replacement bus services will run between Potters Bar and St Albans, where passengers can connect with Thameslink services to and from St Pancras International; and between Potters Bar, Oakwood and Cockfosters, where passengers can connect with London Underground services to and from central London.
  • Potters Bar Station and these alternative arrangements both offer step-free access. On the Hertford North line, trains will terminate at Gordon Hill on the Saturday (21 November) and there will be no trains on that route on the Sunday (22 November), with replacement buses calling at all affected stations and running to/from Turnpike Lane to connect with London Underground services.
  • On Saturday, 28 and Sunday, 29 November, there will be a reduced service in and out of King’s Cross station. On Sunday, 29 November there will also be no service on the Hertford North line. Replacement buses will operate via affected stations.

As well as the above changes, on all three weekends, the East Coast Main Line will also be closed at Grantham and a reduced service will be diverted between Doncaster and Peterborough via Lincoln, which will extend journey times.

Passengers are also reminded that, in line with Government guidance, they are encouraged to only travel if they need to. Passengers can travel with confidence by wearing a face covering, washing or sanitising their hands and maintaining their social distance.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“The work taking place during the six-day closure at Christmas is absolutely key to the wider programme, so we’re ramping up our work ahead of this. This means there are changes to services throughout November, so we’d urge anyone who needs to travel in or out of London King’s Cross to plan their journey ahead of time and see what changes it means for them.

“We are sorry for the impact this will have on travellers; however, we know it will be worth it in the end and we look forward to them reaping the benefits of a more reliable railway with faster and more frequent services in the future.”

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

“If you need to travel to or from London King’s Cross this November, or over the Christmas period, please make sure you’re prepared for the service changes. The best way to do this is to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or your train operator. The work Network Rail is doing on the East Coast Upgrade is critical to improving your journeys and we are working closely as a rail industry on this vital project.”

Further information:

  • On 21/22 November – LNER services to/from the north will start/end at Peterborough. Rail replacement coaches will run between Peterborough and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras. Passengers using LNER services must have a reservation.
  • There will also be no Great Northern or Thameslink services south of Potters Bar. Limited replacement bus services will run between Potters Bar and St Albans, where passengers can connect with Thameslink services to and from St Pancras International; and between Potters Bar, Oakwood and Cockfosters, where passengers can connect with London Underground services to and from central London

Powering the next generation of rail travel

Train passes Power Supply Upgrade work on the East Coast Main Line

6 November 2020

An outline £10 million co-investment agreement has been signed by the University of Leeds and the companies involved in the Power Supply Upgrade of the East Coast Main Line.

It will enable research into the best and most efficient way of managing the electrical power flow onto the route, which is expected to get busier with newer and faster electric trains, including high-speed trains.

The research is expected to last two years.

The East Coast Main Line is a strategic rail link between London, Yorkshire and Scotland and carries more than 20 million passengers a year.  New track and signals are being installed, along with an upgraded electrical power system, as part of the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade.

This is the biggest investment in the route in a generation, which will make way for more services to meet passenger demand and bring a more reliable railway.

The power upgrade involves new sub-stations, 1,600km of cabling and overhead line equipment. When completed, the work will result in the introduction of more electric trains which are quieter and more environmentally friendly.

The research collaboration announced today is focused on the electrical power upgrade.

University of Leeds scientists and engineers will have access to data collected from a series of lineside static frequency converters, devices that manage the flow of electrical power from the National Grid to the overhead power cables along the line. That data will be subject to modelling to investigate how well the power system is performing.

Peter Woodward, Professor of High-Speed Rail and Director of the Institute for High-Speed Rail and System Integration at Leeds, said:

“The electrification upgrade of the East Coast Main Line will create one of the most advanced and efficient rail arteries in the world.

“At the heart of that rail system is the electrical power that drives it. There has to be enough power available to enable the trains operating on the line to run at speed and at full capacity. 

“This research will see University and rail industry engineers working closely together to identify the most efficient and effective ways to manage that power system.”

The research agreement is between the University and the consortium involved in upgrading the power supply, the Rail Electrification Alliance (REAL), made up of Network Rail, VolkerRail, Siemens Mobility, J Murphy and Sons, Jacobs and Systra.

Keith Earnshaw, Engineering Director at the REAL Alliance, said:

“Through analysis of the data, we want to get a detailed understanding of how trains and other rolling stock are using the power that is being fed onto the network and importantly, are we getting the most effective use of that power. 

“We also want to ensure that the power that is coming onto the line does not result in power surges or other electrical interference that could disrupt other rail equipment.

“Our aim is to have a system that is efficient and reliable, and this research will eventually enable us to access a digital power map of the UK’s network to ensure that the future electrification projects are designed as efficiently as possible.”

Jason Hamilton, REAL Alliance Director, said:

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for the Industry and REAL Alliance to be working with the University of Leeds and a facility such as the Institute for High-Speed Rail and System Integration. The research work that the University does and the opportunity to work alongside and in conjunction with industry on live projects holds real potential. 

“This partnership will allow the East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade programme to progress with additional research and analysis that we wouldn’t have been able to access without this relationship.”

Rail system integration

The University of Leeds is developing one of the most advanced rail research institutes in the world. The Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration has a focus on investigating how different rail systems work together.

The Institute will be built on a site next to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone on the south eastern edge of the city and forms the early phase of a wider plan to position the Leeds City Region as a UK centre for rail engineering, which will generate jobs and inward investment.

More information on the East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade can be found here.


No trains to or from London King’s Cross on November weekend and during six-day closure at Christmas as Network Rail makes progress on £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade

21 October 2020

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are urging passengers to check their journeys as there will be no trains to or from London King’s Cross or Moorgate, and no Thameslink services to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park, on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November. There will also be a reduced service on two additional November weekends, as vital work continues on the East Coast Upgrade.

The project will bring a more modern, reliable railway with more services to meet future passenger demand. Major progress has been made in and around King’s Cross, including work towards the re-opening of a disused railway tunnel which will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, as well as improvements to the track and signalling.

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November, Network Rail engineers will install overhead line equipment and make further improvements to the signalling system. This work can only be done safely when there are no trains in the area.

The following changes to services will be in place over the weekend:

LNER services to and from the north will start and end at Peterborough. Rail replacement coaches will run between Peterborough and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink or East Midlands Railway services to and from London St Pancras.

Unchanged: There will be no Great Northern or Thameslink services south of Potters Bar.  Limited replacement bus services will run between Potters Bar and St Albans, where passengers can connect with Thameslink services to and from St Pancras International; and between Potters Bar, Oakwood and Cockfosters, where passengers can connect with London Underground services to and from central London.

On the Hertford North line services from Stevenage will run no further south than Gordon Hill on Saturday 21 November, and there will be no train service at all on this route on Sunday 22 November. Rail replacement buses will serve closed stations on both days.

No Grand Central services will run between Bradford/York and London King’s Cross on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November.

Hull Trains is operating an amended service to and from London St Pancras on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November.

In addition, there will also be a reduced service running on the East Coast Main Line over this and two additional weekends in November, as work takes place to improve and replace sections of track.

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November, as well as on Saturday 14Sunday 15Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 Novembertrains between Doncaster and Peterborough will be diverted via Lincoln, which will extend journey times.

  • On Saturday 14 November, there will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross, with limited capacity for passengers. Services will continue to run to and from Moorgate and St Pancras via Finsbury Park.
  • On Sunday 15 November, there will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross, with limited capacity for passengers. No trains will run to or from St Pancras via Finsbury Park and buses will replace train services on the Hertford North line.
  • On Saturday 28 November, there will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross, with limited capacity for passengers. Services will continue to run to and from Moorgate and St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.
  • On Sunday 29 November, there will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross, with limited capacity for passengers. Services will continue to run to and from Moorgate and St Pancras International via Finsbury Park. No trains will run on the Hertford North line with replacement buses serving closed stations.

Passengers who still need to travel to London over these weekends are strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.

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

“This work which is taking place over weekends in November is a vital part of the East Coast Upgrade. The project will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers.

“We are making as much progress as possible without disrupting services, but work on the overhead line equipment and improvements to the signalling system can only be carried out safely when there are no trains in the area.

“We thank passengers for their continued patience and strongly advise those who need to travel to or from London to check their journey and allow plenty of time.”

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

“We would like to thank passengers for their patience whilst these improvements are carried out as part of the East Coast Upgrade.

“We strongly advise people to check their journey before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. Replacement buses will be running and some journeys will take longer.”

Further work is planned over the coming months and the dates of full and partial closures at King’s Cross have been announced up to June 2021. This includes an extended six-day closure between Christmas and the New Year. No services will be running to or from London King’s Cross from Friday 25 December until Wednesday 30 December. There will also be a reduced service on Thursday 24 December, and between Thursday 31 January and Sunday 3 January 2021.

There will also be limited services on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham and Peterborough during a nine-day period in January. Between Saturday 16 and Sunday 24 January, major work is taking place at Werrington, north of Peterborough, on a project to build a dive-under. This new section of railway will mean slower freight services can go underneath the East Coast Main Line, making space for additional passenger services to help meet demand.

Passengers can find out more so they can plan their journeys in advance at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk

People are reminded that they must wear a face covering on public transport, unless they are exempt, or they could be fined up to £6,400.


Passengers reminded not to travel to or from London King’s Cross this weekend as vital work continues on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade

12 October 2020

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are reminding passengers not to travel to or from London King’s Cross, or on Thameslink services via Finsbury Park this weekend (Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October), as essential work continues on the East Coast Upgrade to bring more reliable journeys.  

The £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade will transform journeys on the East Coast Main Line, bringing more services and a more reliable railway for passengers. It will improve connectivity between London, the North and Scotland.

On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, Network Rail engineers will carry out vital work on the latest stage of the project, which includes replacing the overhead wires in and around King’s Cross and testing the new signalling system. This work can only be carried out safely when there are no trains in the area.

Passengers are strongly advised not to travel to or from London over the weekend. Those who do need to should check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. People should also allow plenty of time as they will need to change trains or use replacement buses, which are expected to be in high demand.

The following changes to services will be in place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October:

  • LNER services to/from the north will start/end at St Neots, south of Peterborough. Rail replacement coaches will run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink or East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras. Passengers travelling with LNER must have a seat reservation.
  • Grand Central will have no services operating throughout the weekend. The 17:30 Sunderland to King’s Cross service on Friday 16 October and the 08:27 King’s Cross to Sunderland service on Monday 19 October will also not run.
  • Hull Trains will operate a limited service between Hull and St Pancras International. There will be two northbound and two southbound services on both Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October.
  • No Great Northern or Thameslink services will run into King’s Cross, Moorgate or St Pancras International via Finsbury Park. Limited replacement bus services will run between Potters Bar and St Albans, where passengers can connect with Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras; and between Potters Bar and Oakwood to connect with London Underground services to/from central London. Potters Bar Station and these alternative arrangements offer step-free access.
  • On the Hertford North line, all stations between Gordon Hill and Alexandra Palace will be served by a bus replacement service to/from Turnpike Lane to connect with London Underground services to/from central London. Gordon Hill and Turnpike Lane do not offer step-free access.

Passengers are reminded that they must wear a face covering on public transport, unless they are exempt, or they could be fined up to £6,400.

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

“We’re carrying out essential work over the weekend to test the new signalling system and replace the power lines in and around King’s Cross. We can only do this safely by stopping trains coming in and out of the station. 

“Passengers are advised not to travel to London over the weekend, but those who do need to should check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.

“We’re making good progress on the East Coast Upgrade, which will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers, and we would like to thank people for their continued patience.” 

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

“We’re asking people not to travel to or from London on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October whilst this essential work is carried out at King’s Cross.

“Replacement bus services will be running for those who must travel, but these are expected to be busy and journeys will take significantly longer. We would like to thank our passengers for their patience whilst progress is made on the East Coast Upgrade.”

Further work is planned over the coming months, including a weekend closure at London King’s Cross on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November and an extended closure between Christmas and the New Year. Additional dates where there will be full and partial closures have been announced up to June 2021. Passengers can find out more so they can plan their journeys in advance at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk


No trains in or out of London King’s Cross Station on October weekend as Network Rail makes progress on £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade

Engineering Work taking place at London King's Cross

24 September 2020

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 Moorgate, or on Thameslink services to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park, on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October 2020, as vital work continues on the East Coast Upgrade.

The £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade will transform journeys between London, the North and Scotland. It will make way for more services on the East Coast Main Line to meet future passenger demand and bring a more reliable railway.

Over the weekend, Network Rail engineers will carry out essential work to test the new signalling system and replace overhead wires in and around King’s Cross Station. This latest stage in the project will bring more reliable journeys for passengers, but it can only be carried out safely when there are no trains in the area.

The following changes to services will be in place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October 2020:

  • LNER services to and from the north will start and finish at St Neots, south of Peterborough.  Rail replacement coaches will run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink or East Midlands Railway services to and from London St Pancras.
  • Great Northern and Thameslink services to and from Cambridge and Peterborough will start and finish at Potters Bar. Limited replacement bus services will run between Potters Bar and St Albans, where passengers can connect with Thameslink services to and from London St Pancras; and between Potters Bar and Oakwood, where passengers can connect with London Underground services to and from central London.  Potters Bar station and these alternative arrangements both offer step-free accessibility.
  • On the Hertford North line, all stations between Gordon Hill and Alexandra Palace will be served by a bus replacement service running to and from Turnpike Lane, where passengers can connect with London Underground services to and from central London.   Please note neither Gordon Hill or Turnpike Lane currently offer step-free access.
  • Hull Trains will operate a limited service with two return journeys on both Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October between Hull and London St Pancras. For more details visit www.hulltrains.co.uk or view the timetable here.
  • Grand Central will have no services operating throughout the weekend. In addition, the 17:30 Sunderland to London King’s Cross service on Friday 16 October and the 08:27 London Kings Cross to Sunderland service on Monday 19 October will also not run.

Passengers are strongly advised not to travel to or from London over the weekend. Those who have an essential need to do so should check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. Passengers travelling with LNER must have a seat reservation. They should also allow plenty of time as replacement services are expected to be busy.

Passengers are reminded that they must wear a face covering on public transport, unless they are exempt, or they could be fined up to £3,200.

Further work is planned over the coming months, including another weekend closure at London King’s Cross on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November 2020 and an extended closure between Christmas and the New Year. A partial closure of the station is also scheduled between Monday 1 March and Friday 4 June 2021, when individual tracks and platforms will need to be temporarily closed at different points over the three-month period. There will be temporary changes to LNER, Great Northern, Thameslink, Hull Trains and Grand Central services.

Additional dates when there will be full and partial closures of King’s Cross station have also been announced up to June 2021. Passengers can find out more so they can plan their journeys in advance here.

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

“We’re making good progress on the project to improve access into and out of King’s Cross. Unfortunately, while a lot of the work is being carried out with no disruption to passengers, some key activities just cannot be done safely while trains are running.

“On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October we need to make changes to the signalling and power lines, and we can only do that by stopping trains coming in and out of the station. We’re advising people not to travel to London over the weekend, but those who do need to should check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.

“Thank you for your continued patience as we progress with these vital improvements.”

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

“We would like to thank our passengers for their patience whilst this essential work is carried out in and around King’s Cross over the weekend.

“We are asking people not to travel to or from London on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October. Replacement services will be running for those making essential journeys, but these are expected to be busy and journeys will take significantly longer.”


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

 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

'Bringing your East Coast Closer' graphic

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):

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

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, here 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.


Passengers reminded not to travel to or from London King’s Cross this weekend as East Coast Upgrade work continues

16 June 2020

  • No trains in or out of London King’s Cross or Moorgate, or from the East Coast Main Line into St Pancras International, on Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 June so new overhead line equipment can be installed.
  • Project is part of £1.2billion upgrade which will deliver more trains and enable more reliable journeys between London, Cambridgeshire, the North of England 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. It is now mandatory to wear a face covering when using public transport.

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are reminding passengers not to travel to or from London King’s Cross, Moorgate or on Thameslink services via Finsbury Park this weekend (Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 June) as the next stage of planned work on the huge East Coast Upgrade continues.

When complete, the £1.2billion upgrade will increase capacity along the East Coast Main Line by adding an extra 10,000 seats every day, and enable more reliable journeys between London, Peterborough and Cambridge.

On 20 and 21 June, Network Rail will be installing new overhead line equipment as part of work to reopen a disused railway tunnel on the approach to King’s Cross. The extra space will allow additional tracks to be laid, meaning that more trains can enter and exit the station. In order for the improvements to be made safely, trains will not be able to enter or exit the station over the two days. All of the work is being done in line with social distancing guidance.

On LNER services, there will be no trains between St Neots and London Kings Cross. 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.

Network Rail is also reminding passengers to consider whether their journey is necessary in line with current COVID-19 guidance. Those who cannot work from home and need to travel should avoid public transport where possible. It is now mandatory for all station users in England – passengers and staff – to wear a face covering to protect themselves and others. However, some passengers are exempt, including young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties.

Those who have to travel by train this weekend should check their journey ahead of time via EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk, National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator. To help people plan their journeys, National Rail have launched new tech to alert passengers of busy trains and stations before they leave home, however people should still avoid public transport where possible.

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 journey times will be significantly longer than usual.”

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 remember to wear a face covering and check how your journey will be affected by visiting EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk, National Rail Enquiries or check with your specific train operator.”


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.”


Passengers reminded not to travel to or from London this weekend as vital work on East Coast Upgrade continues

25 February 2020

  • Network Rail and train operators are reminding passengers not to travel to/from London on East Coast Main Line this weekend
  • No train services will enter or exit London King’s Cross station
  • No train services will run between Biggleswade or Letchworth Garden City and King’s Cross, St Pancras International or Moorgate stations or between Peterborough and London King’s Cross
  • Work is part of £1.2billion investment which will provide more seats, faster journeys, more services and improved reliability

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are reminding passengers that no trains will be able to call at London King’s Cross this weekend as work continues on the East Coast Upgrade.

The £1.2billion project which will allow for faster, more frequent services, providing passengers with 10,000 extra seats on long distance services per day. It will also improve the reliability of services.

Over the weekend, Network Rail engineers will test new signalling equipment at Stevenage station as part of work to construct a new platform there, which will allow more train services to run. The testing of the signalling system can only be done safely when no trains are running, so the line between Peterborough and London King’s Cross and between Biggleswade and London King’s Cross will be closed. There will also be no Great Northern or Thameslink services between Letchworth Garden City and London King’s Cross or London St Pancras International, and no services in or out of Moorgate, including via Hertford North. Trains will still be able to run between King’s Lynn, Cambridge and Letchworth Garden City via Cambridge.

Passengers are urged not to travel to or from London King’s Cross station, or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park on either Saturday, 29 February or Sunday, 1 March.  Passengers are advised to travel on either Friday, 28 February or Monday, 2 March, however those travelling on these days should book in advance and reserve a seat where possible, as these services are expected to be exceptionally busy.

If passengers absolutely must travel over the weekend, they should allow significantly more time for their journey, as they will need to use the limited bus replacement services or alternative routes, which will be very busy.

Over the past eight weeks, there have been numerous changes to services in and out of London on the East Coast Main Line to allow work on this vital project to continue. Good progress has been made and this project will now not impact on passengers again until 20/21 June. Passengers can find out more at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk.

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

“We know that there have been numerous changes to services to and from London this year and we apologise for any inconvenience which this has caused.

“We understand that there is never a good time carry out upgrade work on this scale. The work taking place on Saturday and Sunday is absolutely vital to move the scheme forward and we would urge passengers not to travel to and from London on the affected routes this weekend.

“This work will now not impact on services until June and I would like to thank passengers for their continued patience whilst we work on the upgrade, which will bring huge benefits to passengers when completed.”

A spokesperson for train operators along the route, said:

“This weekend, significant work by Network Rail will mean widespread changes to services on the East Coast Main Line into London King’s Cross, as well as between Letchworth Garden City and St Pancras, including the Moorgate Line via Hertford North.

“We urge passengers to follow the travel advice issued and not to travel to or from London this weekend on these routes. Passengers should travel on alternative dates.

“We would like to thank all passengers for their patience and we look forward to them reaping the rewards when this project completes.”

Additional information:

Network Rail has announced that there will be further changes to come later in 2020 and into 2021.

Whilst still in the planning stages, the rail industry has released the next set of provisional dates which will impact on passenger services. These are:

  • No services to or from London King’s Cross on Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 June.
  • A reduced long-distance service planned between Saturday, 5 September and Sunday, 13 September.
  • No services to or from London King’s Cross on Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 September.

Whilst these dates are provisional and subject to change, Network Rail and train operators have announced them now to give passengers as much advance notice as possible. There will also be a period of prolonged disruption from Saturday, 19 December 2020 through to late March 2021 affecting weekdays and weekends, with a mixture of reduced services and no services at King’s Cross. Further information will be announced as soon as the details are available.


£1.2billion investment means no services in or out of London King’s Cross later this month – passengers urged not to travel

12 February 2020

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are reminding passengers that no trains will be able to call at London King’s Cross on Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1 March as vital improvement work, which will allow more trains to run between London, the North and Scotland, continues.

Over the weekend, Network Rail will work to test signalling equipment at Stevenage station as part of work to build a new platform there. Work will also take place to install new overhead line equipment. To allow this work to take place safely, no train services will operate between Biggleswade or Letchworth Garden City and King’s Cross, St Pancras International or Moorgate stations.

London North Eastern Railway services will run only as far south as St Neots, while some Hull Trains services will be diverted to run in and out of St Pancras. Great Northern services will still run between Peterborough and Biggleswade, and between King’s Lynn and Letchworth Garden City.

All of this work is part of the East Coast Upgrade, which is the biggest investment into the line in a generation. Once complete, it will bring many benefits for the 20 million passengers who travel on the route each year, including faster journeys, more frequent and more reliable services, as well as up to 10,000 extra seats on long distance services per day.

Passengers are urged not to travel to or from London on the East Coast Main Line on these two days as the next stage of work takes place. Instead, passengers are advised to travel on Friday, 28 February or Monday, 2 March instead. These services will be very busy and passengers should book in advance and reserve a seat where possible.

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

“We know that there have been numerous changes to services to and from London over the past two months and we apologise for any inconvenience which this has caused.

“There’s never a good time carry out upgrade work on this scale. The work taking place on Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1 March is absolutely vital to keep this scheme progressing well and we would urge passengers not to travel to and from London on the affected routes on these dates.

“This work is the final weekend which this project will impact on services until June and I would like to thank passengers for their continued patience whilst we work on this project, which will bring huge benefits to passengers.”

A spokesperson for train operators along the route, said:

“This weekend, to allow significant work by Network Rail, there will be no services on the East Coast Main Line into King’s Cross, St Pancras or Moorgate. There will also be no services between Moorgate and Hertford North.

“We would urge passengers to follow the travel advice issued, which is not to travel to or from London on these dates and to travel on alternative dates instead.

“We would like to thank all passengers for their patience and we look forward to them reaping the improvements when this project completes.”

Further periods of planned engineering work will take place later this year, with the next weekend of no services to or from London King’s Cross on Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 June 2020. For more information passengers are advised to visit www.eastcoastupgrade.co.uk


NO trains in or out of London King’s Cross this weekend as landmark upgrade to improve services continues – and further dates of disruption announced for 2020 and 2021

21 January 2020

  • Passengers advised not to travel as significant disruption to journeys to/from London on the East Coast Main Line this weekend
  • On Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 January, lines between Peterborough and King’s Cross closed
  • Next set of provisional service disruptions announced for 2020/2021
  • £1.2billion investment will provide faster journeys, more services, thousands more seats and improved reliability for passengers

Network Rail is reminding passengers that there will be no trains in or out of London King’s Cross this weekend as work continues on the East Coast Upgrade.

Over the weekend, vital upgrades to the signalling system will take place in the latest stage of the £1.2billion investment into the route. The work will see Network Rail engineers move control of a section of the signalling system to a specialist centre in York, which will help to create a more resilient railway. To allow this work to take place safely, no trains will be able to run on the southern portion of the route.

Passengers are urged not to travel to or from London on the East Coast Main Line. The lines between Peterborough and King’s Cross and Hitchin and London St Pancras International will be closed for just the second time in two decades. This includes the Moorgate line via Hertford North. Trains will still be running between King’s Lynn, Cambridge and Hitchin.

Passengers are advised to travel on either Friday, 24 or Monday, 27 January instead, although these services will be very busy and passengers should book in advance and reserve a seat where possible.

If passengers absolutely must travel, they should allow significantly more time for their journeys 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.

Passengers who must travel should plan ahead via National Rail Enquiries or via eastcoastupgrade.co.uk. On Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1 March, there will also be no services in or out of London King’s Cross, with the same impact on services as this weekend.

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

“This weekend, we are continuing with vital work on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade, which is the biggest investment into the line in a generation.

“We are urging passengers to heed the advice issued which is not to travel to/from London on the East Coast Main Line this weekend. We know that this is disruptive and we do apologise for this. Unfortunately, it is necessary to enable us to progress on this work, which will create more services, faster services and thousands more seats for passengers.”

There are various changes to services throughout January and February and today, Tuesday, 21 January, Network Rail has announced that there will be further changes to come later in 2020 and into 2021.

Whilst still in the planning stages, the rail industry has released the next set of provisional dates which will impact on passenger services. These are:
• No services to or from London King’s Cross on Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 June.
• A reduced long-distance service planned between Saturday, 5 September and Sunday, 13 September.
• No services to or from London King’s Cross on Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 September.

Whilst these dates are provisional and subject to change, Network Rail and train operators have announced them now to give passengers as much advance notice as possible. There will also be a period of prolonged disruption from Saturday, 19 December 2020 through to late March 2021 affecting weekdays and weekends, with a mixture of reduced services and no services at King’s Cross. Further information will be announced as soon as the details are available.

Ed added:

“We have also announced further dates later in 2020 and early into 2021 when services are likely to be affected. We want passengers to have as much notice as possible, which is why we have released these dates now. Further and more detailed information will be available in the coming months.”

A spokesperson for train operators along the route said:

“This weekend, significant work by Network Rail will mean widespread changes to services on the East Coast Main Line into King’s Cross, as well as between Hitchin and St Pancras, including the Moorgate Line via Hertford North.

“This is a necessary part of the £1.2billion investment into the line and we strongly urge passengers not to travel and to seek alternate travel arrangements. We hope passengers can understand that we are doing all we can to minimise the impact on them which is why we have announced the next set of provisional dates when services will be disrupted. As an industry we are all committed to providing the best possible information to passengers while we work to significantly improve the service we can offer in future.”


Passengers reminded of further significant changes to services at King’s Cross station – including two weekends when no trains will call there

7 January 2020

Network Rail is reminding passengers that there will be no trains in or out of King’s Cross station for two weekends, as major work takes place as part of the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade. There are also six further weekends where there will be a reduced service.

Good progress was made last weekend, when a reduced service was in place. During this time, Network Rail engineers moved cables, carried out work to the track and improved the drainage system.

Passengers are urged not to travel to and from London on the East Coast Main Line on Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 January and Saturday 29 February & Sunday 1 March as no trains will be running between Peterborough, Cambridge or Hertford North, and London King’s Cross, St Pancras International or Moorgate.

If passengers absolutely must travel, they should allow significantly more time for their journeys 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.

On both weekends there will be a shuttle train service between Letchworth Garden City and King’s Lynn (extending to Hitchin on Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 January); and on Saturday 29 February & Sunday 1 March trains will be running between Peterborough and Biggleswade.

Over these weekends, Network Rail engineers will continue to relocate sections of the signalling system from King’s Cross to a state-of-the-art centre in York. This essential work can only be carried out safely when no trains are running. Network Rail will also continue with work to construct an additional platform and install new track at Stevenage station for Great Northern’s Moorgate services.

A reduced service will also be in place on the following six weekends:

  • Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January
  • Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January
  • Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February
  • Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February
  • Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February
  • Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 February

During this time, work will take place to upgrade the power supply and overhead line equipment in and around King’s Cross station. There will also be routine maintenance work, which means that no Thameslink or Great Northern services between Peterborough, Cambridge, Hitchin or Stevenage and St Pancras or Moorgate.

Passengers are strongly advised to check on National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator before travelling on these weekends. They should also allow extra time for their journeys and reserve a seat where possible, as trains will be busy and may take longer than usual.

The East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment into the line in a generation. Once complete, it will bring many benefits for the 20 million passengers who travel on the route each year, including faster journeys, more frequent services, a more reliable railway and an extra 10,000 seats per day.

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

“This work will bring improvements for the millions of passengers who use the East Coast Main Line each year, including improved connections, faster journeys, more choice and more seats.

“We apologise in advance for the disruption to services and the impact this will have on passengers whilst the essential work is carried out. We try to avoid disruption where possible, but unfortunately it is inevitable on an upgrade of this scale.

“We have given passengers as much notice as possible by announcing these dates back in October. We urge people to check before they travel and allow plenty of time.”

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

“This is really important work that Network Rail is doing to meet the needs of passengers for years to come.

“Passengers should avoid travelling to London on the East Coast Main Line over the two weekends when there will be no services calling at King’s Cross station. There will also be no services from the East Coast Main Line into St Pancras or Moorgate.

“We are working hard to keep passengers moving and would strongly advise people to check before they travel.”


Passengers reminded of changes to services to and from King’s Cross station this weekend

2 January 2020

Network Rail is reminding passengers that there will be a reduced service on the East Coast Main Line this weekend as the next stage of a £1.2billion investment into the route takes place.

On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 January, fewer trains will enter and exit London King’s Cross as work continues on the East Coast Upgrade.

There are changes to services on the East Coast Main Line throughout January and February. On seven weekends, there will be a reduced service and on Saturday 25 &Sunday 26 January and Saturday 29 February & Sunday 1 March no trains will be able to call at the station. This is to allow workers to carry out vital upgrades to the signalling system, power supply and track. There will also be routine maintenance work during this time.

Passengers are urged to plan their journey ahead of time and to allow additional time to travel. As there are fewer services, those which do run are expected to be busier than normal, so passengers should book a seat if possible.  Passengers can see how they will be impacted by visiting eastcoastupgrade.co.uk or checking with their train operator.

The work this weekend follows on from good progress made over the festive period, which saw work take place to improve the track layout and platforms at the station. Once complete, the East Coast Upgrade will improve journeys for the millions of passengers who use the line each year through more services, faster services, improved reliability and more seats for passengers.

The other dates when there will be a reduced service are:

  • Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January
  • Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January
  • Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February
  • Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February
  • Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February
  • Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 February

Network Rail completes vital project to upgrade East Coast Main Line at Grantham

27 December 2019

A £2.1million investment by Network Rail took place over Christmas to upgrade the East Coast Main Line just south of Grantham.

Using a specialist train called the TRS (Track Renewal System) Network Rail replaced almost 4km (2.4 miles) of track, which will provide a smoother and more reliable service for passengers for years to come.

The work began after the last service on Christmas Eve and completed before the first service today (Friday 27 December). As no services run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, it meant that this length of track could be replaced over 53 hours, instead of the nine overnight weekend shifts it would have taken usually, meaning passengers can feel the benefit of the work more quickly.  Collectively, Network Rail and supply partners spent over 5500 hours on the project.

To complete the work, Network Rail staff used the specialist engineering train, which is a third of a mile long and typically relays half a mile of track per shift. It works around the country all year round, mostly overnight so that passenger services aren’t disrupted. It removes the old rail and sleepers and then replaces them with the new rail and sleepers straight away. The work ensures the new track infrastructure is fit for a faster and heavily used railway.

Grantham is on the busy East Coast Main Line, which is currently undergoing a £1.2billion upgrade. The East Coast Upgrade will allow more trains to run and deliver quicker, more reliable journeys for the 20 million passengers who use it each year.

Ben Brooks, High Output alliance director for Network Rail said,

“Completing this work over the Christmas break and causing no impact to services means passengers benefit from a smoother and more reliable railway more quickly.

“This has been a significant investment into the railway in Grantham which will help to improve services and keep trains running reliably for years to come.”


Network Rail workers spend Christmas improving the railway near Peterborough

18 December 2019

As people open their presents and sit down for Christmas dinner, hundreds of Network Rail engineers will continue work on a major project to install a dive under, a tunnel under the railway, just outside of Peterborough station as part of the East Coast Upgrade.

Between the last service on Tuesday 24 December and the first service on Friday 27 December, and on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 January, workers will move railway tracks to make space for the new dive under. Once complete, the dive under will remove the need for slow moving freight trains to cross over the East Coast Main Line meaning high speed passengers trains will no longer need to slow down on the approach to the area. The project, when combined with upgrades elsewhere along the route, will mean greater capacity for passenger services on the line.

This work is an essential part of the East Coast Upgrade, which is a £1.2billion project to regenerate the infrastructure along the East Coast Main Line. It also includes major work to simplify the track layout at King’s Cross station and build a new bay platform at Stevenage. Once completed, it will bring significant benefits to passengers including up to 10,000 extra seats per day, more frequent services, faster services and a more reliable railway.

Network Rail carries out major work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when there are no timetabled services. This avoids disruption for passengers at busier times of the year and means good progress can be made on the upgrade. Passengers are urged to check with National Rail Enquiries or their train operator before travelling over the festive period.

As usual, there will be no services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day in this area and no bus replacement services will run on these days. There will be a reduced service between Peterborough and London King’s Cross until 13:00 on Friday 27 December.

The project also means that there will also be a reduced service between Peterborough and London King’s Cross on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 January. Some trains will divert via Cambridge, meaning journey times will be extended by up to 90 minutes. Bus replacement services will be in place between Hitchin and Peterborough. Passengers are encouraged to check before they travel and leave plenty of time for their journey.

Caroline Smith is a Scheme Project Manager for Network Rail and has worked on the railway for 20 years. Caroline will be  working on the project over the festive period.

Caroline said:

“The work we are carrying out over Christmas is really important to make sure that progress on this vital project stays on track.

“Over the festive period, my role will be to oversee the work and make sure it runs on schedule. This work is an important part of the East Coast Upgrade, which will bring significant benefits to passengers, including more services, more seats and faster journeys. 

“I do enjoy working over the festive period. There is a good team spirit and we enjoy a few decorations and some mince pies, however after this, it’s minds on the job.”


Hundreds of Network Rail staff work on King’s Cross project over Christmas period

18 December 2019

Over 300 Network Rail staff will be giving up their Christmases to work on a project to remodel one and a half miles of track outside of London King’s Cross station, which is a vital part of the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade.

Over the festive period, teams will be carrying out essential parts of the King’s Cross remodelling project including replacing tracks near platforms 5 and 6 and carrying out vital signal testing which can only be done when trains aren’t running.

As there are no timetabled services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day on this part of the railway, Network Rail uses this opportunity to carry out major work and avoid disruption for passengers at busier times. Passengers are advised to check before travelling as there are no timetabled services or bus replacement services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and there will be a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross until 13:00 on Friday 27 December.

Fjolle Bunjaku, Project Manager for Network Rail, who joined the company as a project management graduate four and a half years ago, will be working over the Christmas period to make sure that the project is delivered to schedule.

She said:

“I grew up locally in Camden and I’ve seen this area undergo a massive regeneration, so I’m happy to be part of a project that sees the railway move with the times. With more people using the railway, it’s essential that the East Coast Main Line is upgraded to meet the growing demand.

“I worked over Christmas last year too, and there was a really nice atmosphere and sense of togetherness. Our teams have been planning this project for months, and the work is vital to keep this huge upgrade on track.”

The East Coast Upgrade is a £1.2billion project to regenerate the infrastructure along the East Coast Main Line (ECML), bringing significant benefits to passengers including 10,000 extra seats per day, more frequent and faster services and a more reliable railway. Projects involved in this upgrade include the replacing of a junction at Newark, constructing a new platform and track at Stevenage, building a whole new section of railway that will pass under the ECML near Peterborough and an upgrade to the power supply across the whole route.

The current infrastructure is over 40 years old and this essential work to replace signalling and overhead line equipment, and to redesign the track layout will make sure the ECML can efficiently serve the 20 million passengers using it every year.


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 & Sunday 26 January and Saturday 29 February & 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 & Sunday 2 February and Saturday 22 & 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 information:

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 2019

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.


Final reminder for passengers as major work takes place on East Coast Main Line this August Bank Holiday

Track infrastructure ready to be installed.

New flat crossing ready to be put in place near Newark Northgate station

 

21 August 2019

  • 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 Trains services on Sunday 26 August. Anyone who is travelling with CrossCountry Trains 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

22 July 2019

  • £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 much of the 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

1 July 2019

  • 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 at 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

Aerial view of King's Cross Station.

4 June 2019

  • 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 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

17 April 2019

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 EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk

The tunnel which will be reopened as part of the East Coast Upgrade

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.

Our partners