East Coast Upgrade
This £1.2bn upgrade is set to create capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services as well as faster journeys and increased reliability for passengers along the East Coast.
This website explains the major engineering works that are crucial to delivering this Upgrade by the early 2020s, and the disruption this means for passengers.
The East Coast Upgrade is focused on London King’s Cross, Werrington and Stevenage, and has already improved a junction in Newark.
- 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 through a multi-million pound investment in renewing track, signalling and overhead line equipment, on the approach to the station. You can find out more information on the Network Rail website
- Werrington, North of Peterborough – We are building a new section of railway to go under the East Coast Main Line at Werrington so trains, particularly freight trains, can get to and from the line to Spalding (known as the Great North Great Eastern or GNGE). Once finished it will free up space on the East Coast Main Line for extra passenger services. You can find out more information on the Network Rail website.
- Stevenage – We’re building a new platform and track at Stevenage station so trains from the Hertford North line (known as the Hertford Loop) can terminate and go back towards London without using up capacity on the existing tracks. This will enable more services to run in future while improving resilience and reliability. You can find out more information on the Network Rail website.
- 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 additional electric trains. You can find out more information on the Network Rail website.
Here is our senior project manager Tim Walden, a.k.a. Trackside Tim, talking about the £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve this vital part of the rail network, which is used by 20 million passengers a year. While the station itself was modernised in 2012, the 40-year old track has reached the end of its design life and is getting harder to maintain. It needs to be replaced.
The project will see 1.5 miles of track, signalling and overhead line equipment renewed, leaving a layout that will improve reliability and reduce the long-term cost of operating and maintaining the railway. Part of this involves installing two new tracks by re-opening a disused tunnel on the approach to King’s Cross. This will increase the number of tracks into the station from four to six.
The work so far
Signalling replacement work took place during the weekend of 13/14 July 2019, when platforms 0-6 were closed at the station and there was a reduced train service.
Over the August bank holiday weekend, when no services were running, further progress was made. This included track renewal in Copenhagen tunnel, transfer of overhead lines and moving control of part of the railway from King’s Cross signal box to the new Rail Operating Centre in York.
Future periods of disruption
We are investing £1.2bn upgrading the upgrading the East Coast Main Line (ECML) to allow more trains to run and deliver quicker, more reliable journeys across the route.
To deliver these improvements there will be further periods of disruption in 2020 and 2021, including additional weekends and longer periods of work. The provisional dates for the longer periods of work are:
- No services to or from King’s Cross on the weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2020, in addition to further weekends later in the year.
- A reduced long-distance service planned in the Autumn to enable engineering work between Grantham and Peterborough, including a possible weekend with no long-distance services to or from King’s Cross.
- Significant periods of disruption for all services to or from London King’s Cross between mid-December 2020 and into 2021, including on weekdays. For a number of weekends during this period when there will be no services to these stations. Piccadilly and Victoria Line services in north east London, as well as trains into Moorgate, are also expected to be extremely busy during this period.
We are sharing the provisional dates of this disruption now and encouraging individuals and businesses to prepare in advance and look at ways to reduce their need for travel while this important work takes place. Further detail and specific dates will be provided in the coming months as plans to minimise any disruption for passengers are finalised.
You will be able to find out more detailed travel information for your journey from the individual company websites: