Engineering work in Darlington to deliver upgrades to passengers’ journeys on East Coast Main Line: New track being installed during engineering work

Monday 22 Jan 2024

Engineering work in Darlington to deliver upgrades to passengers’ journeys on East Coast Main Line

Region & Route:
| Eastern: East Coast

In February, Network Rail engineers will be working to upgrade part of the East Coast Main Line through Darlington to deliver smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers.

On Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 February, teams will be working to renew and replace switches & crossings, the specialist equipment used by trains to change tracks from one to another, as well as installing over a mile of new rails.

These upgrades will mean that passengers can expect smoother and more reliable journeys as they travel on the East Coast Main Line.

While these vital improvements are carried out, there will be some changes to train services in the area.

LNER will operate a reduced service of one train per hour in each direction between London King’s Cross and Scotland, with trains diverting around the work. As a result of the diversion, journey times may be extended by up to an hour. Additional services from the north and the south will terminate at Newcastle and York respectively, with a rail replacement service operating between Newcastle and York.

For passengers travelling with CrossCountry and TransPennine Express, a replacement coach service will operate throughout the weekend between York and Newcastle. On Sunday only, rail replacement services will additionally connect CrossCountry passengers to and from Leeds, with TransPennine Services diverting around engineering work between Leeds and York.

There will also be changes to Northern services with trains between Saltburn & Middlesbrough and Darlington & Bishop Auckland starting and terminating at Eaglescliffe.

Rail replacement buses will run between Eaglescliffe and Darlington / Bishop Auckland.

Lumo will operate a shuttle train service between Newcastle and Edinburgh, with a rail replacement coach service running between Newcastle and Northallerton to connect into a Lumo train to/from London on a daily return journey.

Jason Hamilton, Route Programme Director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “The work being carried out in the Darlington area over this weekend is vital in improving passengers’ journeys as they travel along the East Coast Main Line.

“These upgrades will result in smoother and more reliable journeys for our passengers as we replace switches that have been in place for many years with brand new equipment.

“We are sorry for the disruption this may cause to passengers’ journeys and encourage them to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.”

A spokesperson on behalf of LNER, CrossCountry, Lumo, Northern, and TransPennine Express, said: “Our teams will be working hard to keep passengers on the move and get them to their destination as quickly and as efficiently as they can during this work.

“All the latest travel information, including how passengers’ journeys may be affected, can be found on our websites, social media channels, or at our stations.”

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Joshua Chapman
Media Relations Manager
Network Rail

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: