In a hugely complex operation, we removed all four railway tracks entering the station in order to excavate and completely replace a fragile Victorian sewer running beneath them, then relaid 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. In total, our teams had to remove 850 tonnes of spoil as part of the work and laid 640 tonnes of new ballast before replacing the tracks.
We also installed 250 metres of brand new track leading to the currently disused Gasworks Tunnel, moving us one step closer to re-opening this in the Spring in order to increase the number of lines leading to and from the station.
Additionally, we were able to use the opportunity to install new overhead line apparatus and over 100 pieces of new signalling equipment in the area.
The COVID-19 pandemic and government guidelines brought changes to the programme of work, but 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 the full service to resume from Monday 4 January.
All this improvement work was carried out as part of our £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade programme of major improvements to key parts of the East Coast Main Line, improving journeys for passengers between London, Cambridgeshire, the North of England and Scotland. Once completed, it will deliver quicker, more reliable journeys across the route.
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.