Wednesday 24 Mar 2021
Month to go until three-day closure including a Friday at King’s Cross as Network Rail transforms track layout to improve reliability
- No trains at King’s Cross on Friday 23, Saturday 24 or Sunday 25 April
- Only travel if absolutely essential on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April
- Network Rail is improving the track layout at King’s Cross and reopening a disused tunnel in the main stage of a £1.2billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line
- Work will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, reduce congestion and bring smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers
- Passengers should continue to minimise travel and follow the latest Government guidance
With a month to go, Network Rail, Great Northern and Thameslink are reminding passengers to plan ahead and allow extra time when King’s Cross station in London is closed for the weekend, including all day Friday 23 April.
During that weekend, on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April, people are advised not to take the train at all on the Peterborough, Hertford and Cambridge routes unless their journey is absolutely essential, because Thameslink and Great Northern services will be so limited.
Network Rail is transforming the track layout in and around King’s Cross and reopening a tunnel just outside the station, that has been disused for 40 years. This will allow more trains to enter and exit the station and bring smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers.
Since the main stage of work on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade got underway at King’s Cross in March, platform edges have been demolished, track has been lifted and overhead line equipment removed. Over the next month, hundreds of workers will be on site 24/7 to rebuild them and replace and realign the track.
Before platforms 0-6 at King’s Cross can reopen for passengers and work can begin to lift the track at platforms 7-11, vital changes need to be made to the signalling, which is why the three days of work in late April is required.
Friday 23 April
- Great Northern and Thameslink services that usually run to/from London Kings Cross will start/end at Finsbury Park for connections with London Underground services to King’s Cross.
- Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras International and Great Northern services to/from Moorgate will continue to run. For the easiest journey, passengers travelling to or from central London are strongly encouraged to use these services instead to avoid the long walk between the National Rail and Underground platforms at Finsbury Park.
- LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or Stevenage, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International.
- Grand Central will run a reduced service between Sunderland/Bradford and Finsbury Park.
- Hull Trains will not run.
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April
- No trains will run to/from London King’s Cross, Moorgate or to/from London St Pancras International via Finsbury Park.
- Trains will run between Peterborough and St Neots, between King’s Lynn, Cambridge and Letchworth Garden City, and between Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar only. A number of rail replacement bus routes will connect with alternative rail services or London Underground lines for onward travel into London.
- LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or St Neots. A replacement coach service will run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International.
- Grand Central and Hull Trains services will not run to or from London.
People should continue following the latest Government guidance and minimise travel where possible. Passengers who have to travel are strongly advised to plan ahead, allow plenty of time for their journey and check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator.
The improvements to the track layout will continue until early June and train services will continue for the vast majority of this work. There will be no services to or from King’s Cross on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June, and a full service will resume once again on Monday 7 June.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said: “It’s strange seeing no trains, no track and no passengers across half of King’s Cross as we make major progress to install the completely redesigned, simpler track layout.
“Working with the wider rail industry, we’ve managed well with the complex track that was laid over 40 years ago, but this vital stage of the project will make it much more practical for trains coming in and out of the station - meaning more reliable journeys for passengers.
“We’ve carefully planned this project to keep disruption to a minimum, and as we start work at platforms 7-11, trains will be able to use platforms 0-6. We want to thank passengers for their continued patience as we make essential changes to the signalling over the three-day closure.”
Jenny Saunders, Great Northern and Thameslink Customer Services Director, said: “In a month’s time, on Friday 23 April, you’ll still be able to travel with us, in accordance with the Government advice that applies at the time, but the trains which normally go to King’s Cross will stop short at Finsbury Park so for journeys into Central London we recommend taking a train to St Pancras or Moorgate instead.
“That weekend, 24 and 25 April, however, you shouldn’t travel unless you absolutely have to. We’ll have only a very limited train service and you’re likely to have to change trains several times and maybe even queue to get on board.”
Notes to Editors
Replacement bus details:
Friday 23 April – Passengers can use London Underground or London Bus services between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April - A number of rail replacement bus routes will connect with alternative rail services or London Underground lines for onward travel into London. For full details go to greatnorthernrail.com/EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk
Additional improvements and changes to services:
Additional improvements to the track at Bowes Park will impact on Great Northern services on the Hertford Loop over Easter:
Saturday 3 April – Buses will replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Gordon Hill due to Easter work on the Hertford North line.
Sunday 4 April – Buses will replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Hertford North
Monday 5 April – Buses will replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Gordon Hill
In line with the latest Government guidance, people are urged to minimise travel over the Easter Bank Holiday. Passengers can find out how their Easter journeys will be affected via National Rail Enquiries, with their train operator or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
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.