Friday 8 Jan 2021
Passengers who must travel urged to plan ahead as vital work continues on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade this month
- People must follow the latest Government guidance and not travel except for limited reasons
- Major improvement work means there are changes to services over the next four weekends in January
Network Rail, Thameslink and Great Northern are urging passengers who need to travel on the East Coast Main Line on weekends in January to plan ahead, as major improvement work continues on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade.
The East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment in the route in a generation and will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers, transforming journeys between London, Peterborough and Cambridge.
This month, teams will install new overhead line equipment and improve the signalling at London King’s Cross, as well as carry out maintenance work between Peterborough and Hitchin, which will improve reliability for passengers. This work is being carried out safely, in line with Government guidance.
People should continue to follow the latest Government guidance and must stay at home except for limited reasons. If you need to travel, you should walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Passengers are strongly advised to check their journeys and allow plenty of time.
- No services will run between Peterborough and Hitchin on weekends in January, with buses replacing trains
- London King’s Cross will be partially closed on 9/10, 16/17 and 23/24 January but nearly all the usual Thameslink and Great Northern trains will be running.
- On 10, 17, 24 January, there will be no trains to or from Moorgate until around 08:45 and no trains between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross until around 10:20. Passengers who need to travel should use replacement buses or London Underground services instead.
- On 30/ 31 January, there will be no trains at all south of Potters Bar and Gordon Hill, to or from London King’s Cross, Moorgate and St Pancras International via Finsbury Park. Replacement buses will run from Potters Bar to St Albans, where passengers change to alternative Thameslink services to/from St Pancras International. Buses will also run from Potters Bar/Gordon Hill to London Underground stations.
Further north, significant work is being carried out to build a new tunnel under the railway near Peterborough. Between Saturday 16 and Sunday 24 January, a massive concrete structure, which is heavier than the Eiffel Tower, will be pushed under the East Coast Main Line as part of the £1.2billion upgrade. Once complete, it will separate slow-moving freight from long-distance passenger trains – speeding journeys and improving reliability. During this time, passengers who have to travel to/from the north may need to complete their journey by coach.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said: “These improvements are vital and will bring more reliable journeys for passengers.
“Please continue to follow the latest Government guidance. If you must travel, plan ahead and allow plenty of time. As we make major progress on the East Coast Upgrade, I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience.”
Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Great Northern and Thameslink, said: "The latest Government advice is to stay at home or stay local to help tackle the spread of Covid-19, so if you are thinking of travelling with us, then please first consider the restrictions in place. For anyone who must travel, please check our website before heading out to the station, as there are significant changes to our Thameslink and Great Northern trains every weekend this month with more changes set to follow."
Notes to Editors
Detailed bus replacement info for 30/31 January
- Replacement buses will run from Potters Bar to St Albans, where passengers can connect to alternative Thameslink services to/from St Pancras International.
- Replacement buses will also run between Potters Bar to Cockfosters London Underground station, for Tube connections to/from central London.
- A rail replacement bus service will run from Gordon Hill via all stations to Alexandra Palace, and then on to Turnpike Lane London Underground station for onwards Tube connections to/from central London.
Further changes, February-June
Network Rail has announced dates where there will be no services or a reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. Passengers who must travel are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance.
- Sundays 7 and 14 February - Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains between Peterborough and Hitchin
- Sunday 21 February - Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains between Stevenage and Alexandra Palace
- Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park
- Monday 1 March through to Thursday 22 April – A temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating.
- Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April – No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday
- Monday 26 April through to Thursday 3 June – A further temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating.
- Friday 4 June – From midday no services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park
- Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras International via Finsbury Park
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Media Relations Manager
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.