Network Rail teams are preparing to carry out a major stage of the £1.2bn upgrades to the East Coast Main Line, which is the largest investment into the historic route in a generation.
Over three months, 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.
The bulk of work begins in March and will run until early June, with a full train service able to run once more from Monday, 7 June. The industry has cautiously planned the project to cause as little disruption as possible to customers.
Trains will still be able to run to and from London King’s Cross station for the vast majority of the work. Once the work is completed in June, more than 6km of new track and over 15km of overhead wires will have been installed.
To allow the reduced service to operate 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. For this work to be carried out safely, the following changes will be in place:
- 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
Ed Akers, the 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 a reduced train service to run in and out of King’s Cross station for the vast majority of the main part of this work, which begins in March.
“This East Coast Upgrade is a truly transformative programme, which will bring significant and tangible benefits, such as faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys, which will be felt by all those using the East Coast Main Line and we’d 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 as we work with Network Rail to deliver the benefits of this major investment.”
Images: Network Rail