Passengers reminded to check before they travel ahead of East Coast Main Line work over August Bank Holiday weekend: Passengers reminded to check before they travel ahead of East Coast Main Line work over August Bank Holiday weekend 1

Monday 14 Aug 2023

Passengers reminded to check before they travel ahead of East Coast Main Line work over August Bank Holiday weekend

Region & Route:
| Eastern: East Coast

Passengers are being reminded to plan ahead and check before they travel if they are using the East Coast Main Line over the August Bank Holiday weekend as key engineering work for the billion-pound East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP) takes place.

Delivering ECDP will result in a more reliable railway with lower emissions thanks to digital signalling being introduced. Signalling information will be fed directly to a screen in the driver’s cab, replacing traditional lineside signals.

From late evening Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August 2023, engineering work will focus on a stretch of line between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin in Hertfordshire, in preparation for digital signalling to be used from 2025.

Peterborough’s power signal box will be closing on the evening of Saturday, 26 August, moving local signalling control up to York’s modern rail operating centre, allowing for trains to move more efficiently across junctions and to reduce delays.

Passengers are being reminded that rail replacement buses and coaches will operate from late evening Saturday 26 August to early morning Monday 28 August. No train services will run from Peterborough with bus services operating between Grantham, Royston and Potters Bar/Hertford North, as well as between Grantham, Leicester and Ely.

Work has been carefully scheduled to keep disruption to the journeys of passengers to a minimum, with Friday and most of Saturday and Monday remaining unaffected. However, services may also be affected by a planned RMT strike on 26 August. More details will be released closer to the time.

Ricky Barsby, Network Rail’s Head of Access and Integration for ECDP, said: “We’re encouraging passengers to check before they travel over the August Bank Holiday weekend so that their journeys run as smoothly as possible. The work we are delivering for the East Coast Digital Programme is imperative in allowing for improved, more reliable journeys for our passengers in the future.

“We want to thank passengers for their patience and understanding in advance of the work and have carefully planned the it so that it causes the least amount of disruption as possible.”

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on routes affected said:  “Our teams will be working hard over the August Bank Holiday weekend to keep passengers moving, but as we implement replacement bus services and diversion routes, journey times will be longer, and services may be busier than usual.

“Please check before you travel by using National Rail Enquiries or directly via your train operator to see how your journey may be affected.”

Notes to Editors

If you want to interview someone about this work, Network Rail will have a spokesperson available on Thursday, 24 August at Peterborough station. Please call 07858 375508 to arrange this. 

Service information


From 20:00 on Saturday 26 August until 08:00 on Monday 28 August, no services will run between Grantham and London King’s Cross. Throughout Saturday 27 August a reduced LNER service will start and finish at Grantham, with rail replacement coaches in place between Grantham and Peterborough, and between Grantham and Corby/Kettering, where customers can connect to rail services to London St Pancras.

Grand Central 

No Grand Central services will operate on Sunday 27 August. On Saturday 26 August some services will be retimed to operate earlier.

Hull Trains

Hull Trains will operate a reduced service on Sunday 27 August. All services will operate direct via the Midland Main Line into London St Pancras with extended journey times. Due to the diversions, Hull Trains services will only be calling at Hull, Brough, Howden and Selby. On Saturday 26 August the 19:48 London Kings Cross – Hull service will depart at an earlier time of 18:27. On Monday 28 August the 07:27 London Kings Cross – Hull and 06:05 Beverley – London Kings Cross will not operate.


Lumo services will operate between Newcastle and Edinburgh only on Sunday 27 August.  Services on Saturday 26 August evening and Monday 28 August early morning are subject to cancellation/amended times.

East Midlands Railway

Trains between Liverpool Lime Street and Norwich will start and finish at Grantham on Sunday 27 August.  A replacement bus service will run between Grantham and Norwich, calling at Peterborough.  Services on Saturday 26 August evening and Monday 28 August early morning are also subject to amends and replacement buses.

Greater Anglia

Trains between Peterborough and Ely will be replaced by buses on Sunday 27 August.  Services on Saturday 26 August evening and Monday 28 August are also subject to amends and replacement buses.


From 20:00 on Saturday 26 August and all day on Sunday 27 August, buses will replace trains between Leicester, Peterborough and Ely.

Notes to Editors

Digital signalling, using the European Train Control System (ETCS) is a proven technology already in use in many countries in Europe and elsewhere.  The East Coast Digital Programme will see the first introduction of ETCS to an intercity mainline in Great Britain, and will provide the foundation for the future expansion of digital signalling across the network.  ETCS is currently in use in the central London section of Thameslink and on the Cambrian Line in Wales.

For further information about ECDP please visit

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 - Amy Brenndorfer
Senior Communications Manager

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