The programme

East Coast Upgrade


The £1.2bn upgrade plan is set to create capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, it will also mean faster journeys and increased reliability for passengers.

Early route improvement works have already taken place to get the line ready for the new train fleets. Now the work is focused on key areas of the route – Newark, Stevenage and King’s Cross station in London.

  • Newark – We’re replacing the flat crossing just north of Newark North Gate. This is an incredibly busy junction where the East Coast Main Line and Nottingham to Lincoln line cross.


  • Stevenage Turnback – We’re building a new platform and track at Stevenage station so trains using the Hertford Loop can turn around. This work will enable more services to run in the future. At the same time, we’re improving resilience and reliability at the station. You can find out more information here


Other projects to upgrade the East Coast Main Line include:

  • Werrington Grade Separation – The improvement will see a new rail line built to dive under the East Coast Main Line, linking the Stamford lines and the Great North Great Eastern lines at Werrington Junction near Peterborough, removing the need for freight trains to pass over the East Coast Main Line.The project will mean greater capacity for passenger services on the route. You can find out more information here

  • Power Supply Upgrade – We’re upgrading the power supply on the East Coast Main Line to enable faster, quieter and cleaner trains to run. The upgrade paves the way for the introduction of the new electric trains. You can find out more information here


King’s Uncrossed


A major part of the East Coast Upgrade is the work taking place to transform travel to and from London King’s Cross.

A multi-million pound investment into the infrastructure at King’s Cross railway station will transform train travel on the East Coast Main Line by replacing track, signalling and overhead line equipment outside the station.

The project is set to provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve this vital part of the rail network, which carries trains bound for as far afield as northern Scotland, as well as many commuter services across the South East, and prepare the infrastructure for the future.

The track layout has reached the end of its design life and become harder to maintain. While the station itself was modernised in 2012, the existing track and signalling was installed over 40 years ago and is in need of upgrading.

The project will see 1.5 miles of track, signalling and overhead line equipment re-thought, re-planned and re-laid to reduce the long-term cost of operating and maintaining the railway into the station.

At the same time, we will also be opening two new lines by re-opening a disused tunnel on the approach to King’s Cross; increasing the approach from four tracks to six.

During the weekend of the 13/14 July work will begin to remove old signalling equipment from the disused railway tunnel in preparation for the laying new track in the tunnel later this year.

There will be a reduced train service running on this weekend, and passengers should plan their journey in advance.

Over the August bank holiday weekend, major work is taking place between Peterborough and London King’s Cross, as well as a track renewal in Newark. Passengers are strongly recommended to plan their journeys well in advance of the August bank holiday weekend.

On 24 and 25 August there are no trains on the following routes:

  • London King’s Cross and Peterborough / Cambridge
  • London St Pancras and Cambridge
  • Moorgate and Welwyn Garden City / Stevenage via Hertford North


A reduced service will be running across the rest of the East Coast Main Line. It is strongly recommended customers do not travel to London.

Work at Newark will continue on Bank Holiday Monday (26 August), with a reduced train service running. Operators are advising passengers to travel either Friday evening (23 August) or Tuesday morning (27 August) if possible.


Find out more about these changes.