The Upgrade


The East Coast Upgrade is a £1.2billion 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 and create capacity for thousands of extra seats per day on some of the busiest long-distance services in the country.

Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 we’re continuing to make good progress on the East Coast Upgrade – take a look at the great work our teams were able to achieve at London King’s Cross during 2020:


In January 2021 we achieved a UK first by successfully pushing an 11,000 tonne, 155 metre long curved concrete tunnel into position beneath the East Coast Main Line at Werrington, north of Peterborough:


So far, the Upgrade has delivered a new additional platform at Stevenage station and an improved junction at Newark.

These are the key elements of the East Coast Upgrade:

  • King’s Cross – 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’re building a new section of railway to dive under the East Coast Main Line at Werrington so trains, particularly slower freight trains, can reach the line to and from Spalding (known as the Great North Great Eastern line, or GNGE) without having to cross the main line. 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 – A new platform and track at Stevenage station opened in early August 2020 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 enables more services to run in future while improving resilience and reliability. You can find out more information about our work at Stevenage on the Network Rail website.
  • Power Supply Upgrade – We’re boosting the power supply along the East Coast Main Line to enable faster, quieter and cleaner trains to run by carrying out work at a total of 46 sites along the whole route. This upgrade has already paved the way for the introduction of new trains, such as the Azuma, and will enable additional electric trains to run in the future. You can find out more information on the Network Rail website.


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