Tuesday 10 Nov 2020
Work ramps up on East Coast Upgrade ahead of six-day Christmas closure – passengers planning travel to/from London King’s Cross reminded to check their journeys
- Work is ramping up on site just outside of King’s Cross station ahead of six-day closure at Christmas
- Passengers urged to check before travelling throughout November and December as major changes to services are in place
- Work is part of £1.2billion upgrade which will transform travel for passengers who use the East Coast Main Line each year
Network Rail is ramping up work on a major project just outside of King’s Cross station which is part of a £1.2billion upgrade into the historic rail route which links Edinburgh and London. There will be major weekend service changes throughout November ahead of a six-day closure of King’s Cross at Christmas.
Network Rail teams are working day and night to reopen a disused railway tunnel, simplify the track layout on the approach to King’s Cross station and increase the number of tracks into the station from four to six. This work, when coupled with improvements elsewhere along the route, will mean more train services can run in the future.
The East Coast Upgrade is the biggest investment into the East Coast Main Line in a generation and will bring more services and a more reliable railway for passengers, as well as improving connectivity between London, the North and Scotland.
Network Rail's plans are gathering pace ahead of a six-day closure of King’s Cross station between Christmas Day to Wednesday, 30 December (inclusive). This means that there are three upcoming weekends when there are changes to services, with passengers who must travel urged to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
- On Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 November, there will be a reduced service in and out of King’s Cross station.
- On Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 November, there will be no services in or out of King’s Cross station or to/from St Pancras station via Finsbury Park. Passengers are urged not to travel. A limited bus replacement service will run between Peterborough and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink services to/from St Pancras International.
- On Saturday, 28 and Sunday, 29, there will be a reduced service in and out of King’s Cross station.
As well as the above changes, on all three weekends, the East Coast Main Line will also be closed at Grantham and a reduced service will be diverted between Doncaster and Peterborough via Lincoln, which will extend journey times.
Passengers are also reminded that, in line with Government guidance, they are encouraged to only travel if they need to. Passengers can travel with confidence by wearing a face covering, washing or sanitising their hands and maintaining their social distance.
Passengers are reminded that reservations are required on all LNER services and Hull Trains and Grand Central passengers are also reminded that both operators have announced that they have suspended services during the national lockdown.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said: “The work taking place during the six-day closure at Christmas is absolutely key to the wider programme, so we’re ramping up our work ahead of this. This means there are changes to services throughout November, so we’d urge anyone who needs to travel in or out of London King’s Cross to plan their journey ahead of time and see what changes it means for them.
“We are sorry for the impact this will have on travellers; however, we know it will be worth it in the end and we look forward to them reaping the benefits of a more reliable railway with faster and more frequent services in the future.”
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the route said: “If you need to travel to or from London King’s Cross this November, or over the Christmas period, please make sure you’re prepared for the service changes. The best way to do this is to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or your train operator. The work Network Rail is doing on the East Coast Upgrade is critical to improving your journeys and we are working closely as a rail industry on this vital project.”
Notes to Editors
- On 21/22 November - LNER services to/from the north will start/end at Peterborough. Rail replacement coaches will run between Peterborough and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras.
Passengers / community members
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Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office - Amy Brenndorfer
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.