Thursday 4 Jun 2020
No trains in or out of London King's Cross on June weekend as East Coast Upgrade work continues
- No trains in or out of London King’s Cross, and no Thameslink services will run via Finsbury Park, on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2020 so new overhead line equipment can be installed.
- Project is part of £1.2billion upgrade which will deliver more trains, thousands of extra seats and more reliable journeys between London, the north, and Scotland.
- Under current COVID-19 guidance, journeys should only be made if they are necessary, and those needing to travel should avoid using public transport wherever possible, with use of face coverings strongly encouraged where social distancing is not possible.
Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are urging passengers not to travel to or from London King’s Cross or on Thameslink services via Finsbury Park on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June as the next stage of planned work on the huge East Coast Upgrade continues.
The installation of new overhead line equipment over the affected weekend is the latest stage of the project which will eventually see a disused railway tunnel leading to King’s Cross reopened, allowing additional tracks to be laid so more trains can enter and exit the station. When combined with upgrades elsewhere on the route, the East Coast Upgrade will also deliver capacity for operators to run more trains, adding an extra 10,000 seats every day, and quicker, more reliable journeys between London, the north and Scotland.
Safety is Network Rail’s top priority and so the station will need to be closed to train services for this short period. All of the work is being done under strict guidelines, in accordance with social distancing rules.
On LNER services, rail replacement buses will operate between St Neots and Bedford where those still travelling can take Thameslink services into London. On the Govia Thameslink Railway network, no Great Northern or Thameslink services will run on the East Coast Main Line into King's Cross, St Pancras or Moorgate. Rail replacement buses will operate from Potters Bar and New Barnet to stations on the Bedford to St Pancras route and to London Underground stations for onward connections into London.
Under the current COVID-19 guidance, people are being asked to consider whether their journey is necessary and are being encouraged to stay local. Those who cannot work from home and need to travel should avoid public transport where possible. Those who have to travel by train on the affected weekend should check their journey ahead of time via EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk, National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The COVID-19 crisis continues to bring significant challenges for the railway, however we are working day and night to keep the railway running reliably and safely and to carry out essential work.
“On Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June, we will continue with a vital project to upgrade the East Coast Main Line in a £1.2billion investment. We’ve changed our working methods on site to make sure we can follow Public Health Guidelines and carry on with this project which will bring significant benefits for passengers.
“We’d like to remind everyone that they should only be making journeys that are necessary, but if you do need to travel, please seek alternative travel arrangements. Bus replacement services will be in place, but these will take significantly longer than usual.”
Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris said: “With capacity on our railways significantly reduced due to COVID-19, it is important that people work from home if they can, stagger their travel times to avoid crowds, and use other forms of transport wherever possible.
“For those people who do have to travel, we understand this closure will cause significant disruption to their journeys over the weekend. However this work is the next stage of the vital East Coast upgrade which will deliver more trains, thousands more seats for long distance passengers and more reliable journeys in the future.”
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the route, said: “We appreciate any engineering work can cause inconvenience, but this work is really important to make sure we have a railway which can meet the needs of communities and economies along the route for the long term. We thank our passengers in advance for their understanding and flexibility.
“The work will mean more reliable, more frequent and faster services with more seats, improving travel for our passengers. We’d urge passengers to continue to follow the Government advice to only travel when necessary, and to avoid use of public transport where possible at this time. If you have to travel please check how your journey will be affected by visiting EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk, National Rail Enquiries or check with your specific train operator.”
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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.