Passengers are urged to check weekend travel plans this spring as Cambridge area rail upgrades gather pace: signal generic pic

Wednesday 22 Feb 2023

Passengers are urged to check weekend travel plans this spring as Cambridge area rail upgrades gather pace

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

Major rail projects to improve the railway infrastructure in the Cambridgeshire area are planned to be carried out between Saturday 11 March and the late May bank holiday. The work will affect passenger services via Cambridge station on most weekends in the period.

Passengers should allow extra time when travelling via Cambridge at weekends as bus replacement services will be operating along some routes to allow Network Rail engineers to carry out important renewals and upgrades to the railway.

Passengers using Greater Anglia, Great Northern, Thameslink and Cross Country services via Cambridge are likely to experience longer weekend journey times. The affected weekend dates are:

  • Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 March 2023
  • Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March 2023
  • Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March 2023
  • (Good) Friday 6 to (Easter) Monday 9 April 2023 (Bank holidays)
  • Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April 2023
  • Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April 2023
  • Saturday 29 April to Monday 1 May 2023 (Bank holiday)
  • Sunday 7 and Monday 8 May 2023
  • Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May 2023
  • Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May 2023
  • Saturday 27 to Monday 29 May 2023 (Bank holiday)

Work to replace ageing signalling equipment is under way as part of a huge scheme to update the signalling systems in the wider Cambridge area. The Cambridge Re-signalling project is delivering state-of-the-art signalling technology which means better reliability and reduced maintenance, while providing a platform ready for digital technologies such as the European Train Control System (ETCS).

Other planned work will also take place at the same time to make best use of the access to the railway while trains are not running to reduce overall disruption to passengers. These additional works include early enabling work and site set-up for the Cambridge South station project, vital track renewals, drainage, surveys and structures.

This is the first phase of closures required to allow this major improvement work to progress. Further closures will be needed later this year and will continue into 2024.      

Impact on train services

In order to undertake the planned engineering work there will be various weekend closures of the mainline that will affect Greater Anglia services (between London and Peterborough via Cambridge and Ely), Great Northern and Thameslink services (between Kings Cross / St Pancras and King’s Lynn via Cambridge) and also Cross Country services (between Birmingham and Stansted Airport via Cambridge) at certain times.

Passengers are advised to check all their weekend journey plans before travelling by visiting, or by via your train operator,,, and

Katie Frost, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “The signalling system is the brain and nervous system of the railway which keeps people, who use or interact with the railway, safe.

“I am sorry that our planned signalling upgrade work will disrupt weekend train services for passengers, but this significant investment in renewing the signalling system around Cambridge is vital for maintaining a reliable and safe railway."

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place. Customers will still be able to complete their journeys by rail replacement bus. Passengers are advised to check before they travel and allow more time for their journeys.

“Our new trains are already operating on the West Anglia route and the upgraded signalling will help to further modernise and improve the railway, supporting ongoing increases in punctuality and reliability levels and helping to deliver an even better service for rail passengers in the region.  This project will also enable greater capacity to be provided and more trains to operate as the Cambridge South and East West Rail schemes are delivered.”

Please note that full-size bicycles and scooters can not be carried on rail replacement buses.

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said:  “This major investment will mean more reliable train services and fewer delays in the future, and we thank our passengers for their patience while Network Rail make these vital improvements. We’ve arranged replacement buses, but journeys via Cambridge will take considerably longer than normal during these weekends, so please plan ahead, allow plenty of extra time and check before you travel.”  

Notes to Editors

Notes to editors

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Stephen Deaville
Senior Communications Manager
Network Rail
0330 8577 132

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