Friday 24 Nov 2017
Passengers to check before they travel ahead of Christmas investment on Midland Main Line
Passengers planning to travel between London and the East Midlands this Christmas are being advised to check before they travel as essential improvement work is carried out between Kentish town and London St Pancras.
Upgrades to the concrete slab which supports the track through Kentish Town are needed to keep the large volume of passenger trains which pass through the area running safely and reliably for years to come.
Whilst the work takes place between 23 December and 1 January, direct East Midlands Trains services will continue to run to London from Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester and other major stations on the network. However, there will be changes to departure times and some journey time changes, so customers are advised to plan ahead by checking timetable information at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. Thameslink trains will continue to serve Kentish Town, however there will be no service south of St Pancras International.
The work has been deliberately planned to take place around the Christmas period, a time of year when fewer passengers travel.
Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail’s London North Eastern and East Midlands route, said: “The track through Kentish Town sees thousands of trains and millions of passengers travel over it every year which places incredible strain on the infrastructure that supports it, particularly the concrete slab on which the rails sit. The slab was laid in the late 1970s and while our routine maintenance programme has preserved it until now, major work is needed to allow it to continue to meet the needs of the communities and economies our railway serves.
“We’ve worked closely with our train operators to keep disruption to a minimum and our advice is to plan ahead this Christmas.”
Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, added: “We’ve worked closely with Network Rail to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum for our customers whilst this important work takes place.
“We’ll continue to offer direct train services to London for customers who may still need to work or for anybody who wants to visit family or friends or even enjoy a Christmas day out in London.
“There will be some changes to our regular timetable though and we’d therefore urge people to check before travel at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.”
For more information about Thameslink services, visit www.thameslinkrailway.com/christmas.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Network Rail press office - Toby Higgins
Media relations manager (London North Eastern & East Midlands route)
01904 383180 / 07850 406724
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.